There is something inexplicable about watching Dustin win the Teva Mountain Games Freestyle Kayak event once again. But then again, I feel this way most every year, since he was won 5 out of the 6 years we have been together.
The event is so stacked- it is arguably the most competitive event of the year, after the World Championships. Incredible paddlers from all over the world were there.
As semi-finals ended and the cut from 15 to 5 was imminent, we weren’t sure if he was in. His rides were good, but not great. But then again, it is a super challenging hole and most paddlers were flushing and missing some moves. I was confident he’d make it- I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him not make top 5. Granddad Phil was not so convinced.
As they announced the names, Dustin was in 4th…a good place to be heading into finals. In finals, you get three one-minute rides and one counts. And the order is in reverse- 5th starts first and so on. Dustin’s first ride was not so great- he struggled to get some moves to go and flushed. Two rides to go.
We were watching from up above at the Sitzmark, a whole group of us to cheer. As we watched the finals go on, everyone was paddling well, but the hole is just harder than some and nobody was ticking off every trick in the book. Dustin’s second ride started and I could see by the look on his face that he was on. He gets this look that I can see from afar, I’m not sure how to explain it. He started with a huge clean air Loop, did his right McNasty, his left Phonics, his right Phonics, both Airwheels….and an Orbit. It was a good ride, certainly not the best he’s capable of, but again, nobody was able to link up rides like here at the BV Pro Am, where the hole was consistent, sticky and straightforward.
Then there was a lot of waiting. Since his winning ride was his second ride, we watched Dane, Mathieu and EJ do their second rides. Then Bryan Kirk went again, Dustin, Dane, Mathieu and EJ. Nobody beat that second ride. Everyone did well, but that ride just hung out there.
Here in Colorado, we have a definite off-season in kayaking. But then the river comes up and we’re able to walk out the door and go almost every day. It never ceases to amaze me how one with the water Dustin is and how he can train right back up to the top in such a short time. I love watching him do so well. He’s so humble about the whole thing. He doesn’t get worked up. He just goes out, paddles his best, cheers for everyone else and has fun. Congratulations, Dustin!! We’ll be cheering you on at the World Championships in a couple weeks!
- Record-Breaking Scores at the BV Pro-Am
- Denver Post Features Kayaker Dustin Urban, of South Main
- Dustin Urban Earns Spot on US Freestyle Kayak Team