A Paddler- 20 Questions with Staffer Madison N.

A Paddler- 20 Questions with Staffer Madison N.

Aquabatics Edmonton
7 minute read

Now that winters grip is grasping a firm hold on most parts of the province things have slowed some at the shop. Enough to allow me to get some needed blogging and other super fun behind the scenes tasks done for the YEG shop and AQOutdoors as a whole.  We have done twenty questions blogs for some stellar local paddlers and our amazing ambassador crew.  Now its time for the staff here at the shop to take there turn in the limelight.  Without the amazing staff you see everyday when you come into the shop(s), and those you do not working tirelessly behind the scenes to make things run as smoothly as possible we wouldn’t be where we are today as a business.  Madison or Maddy/ Madi/ Maddie ???? as she is more commonly referred, will be the first out of the gate on this one. 

I had the pleasure of meeting her when I was on the ambassador team with Jackson Kayaks helping at a demo day, before I started working for the shop in YEG. She s a super friendly, polite, well informed person as well as being a kick-ass paddler.   Madison is super stoked about her SUP progression, instruction, and all things paddling.  We are so very happy she’s working with us; she’s been an asset since day one, and frankly we’d be lost without her. Now the fun stuff, we proudly present...

20 questions with Madison.

     1.Who the heck are yeah?

Madison May Elise Nesom! Inspired by community and adventure. 

Madison, working it at the Bow Valley Log Jam.

  1. Where yeah from?

I’m a Northern Alberta gal. Born in High Level but raised in High Prairie for the majority of my life. Moved to High River in 2011 which I now call home. Did you catch the ‘High, High, High’? 

  1. When did you start paddling? 

My family spent a lot of time on Lesser Slave Lake when I was a kid, when we moved south it was Lake Koocanusa. Wake-surfing, wake-boarding, fishing, but not much paddling. I never really started paddling until I started working at Aquabatics spring of 2018...

  1. How did you get involved working at Aquabatics? 

I was studying at SAIT at the time and found an ad on Indeed to work at Aquabatics. I just remember thinking “a job where I can share my passion for the water? I’m in.” I had no idea I’d be teaching SUP and kayak lessons just a few years later. I was a complete NEWB to anything Aquabatics offered but I was eager to learn and excited to be a part of a new community. I’m now working full-time in retail, course coordinating, instructing, and trying to keep up with our followers (social media).

Squeezing in between the gates at the Harvies Fall Classic, photo cred to Randy Kimura

  1. What’s the best thing about working for Aquabatics?

The friendships! The community! The opportunity to influence an active, positive lifestyle. Working at Aquabatics has developed a passion for health and safety and commitment to positively influencing today’s youth.

  1. If you could build the perfect watercraft what would it look like? 

It already exists. A house-boat. Or if you could combine the Kootenay Sustain, Attain, Pivot, and 10th Street together. ;)

  1. Where is your favourite place to paddle, well one you’re comfortable sharing with the world anyway?

I’m a sucker for a mid-summer, 6am paddle at Ghost Lake. I also have a soft spot for the Bow River because most of my friends and family can join me.

I cant put my finger on what, but I'm sure something's missing here...@ the Kan 

  1. What's the longest commute you have made for a weekend of paddling?

So far it’s going to the West Coast with my sis. We paddled on the island, Tofino/Ucluelet area, and off Deep Cove in North Van. That was a WEEK to remember!

  1. Do you enjoy paddling competitions? Why?

YES! I played hockey competitively for 15 years and once I hung up the skates I couldn’t wait for the next competition. Competitions that I’ve competed in have been very rewarding but I mostly love getting to know the community further.

  1. How are you pushing yourself on the water?

I surround myself with paddlers that encourage me to paddle and fall a little harder. Paddling new water (with safety in mind) always pushes me out of my comfort zone. This summer my friend, Adlai, convinced me to enter a slalom SUP race (Harvies Fall Classic). The day consisted of many wipeouts but it was a perfect progression!


Were like 68% sure this is Maddy at Ghost Lake -photo cred to Tim Carlielle.

  1. Any tricks or runs you're currently trying to dial in?

I’ve really dialed in surfing, now I just need to work on my technical skills that no one really wants to work on… I recently ran the Kan (for the second time ever) which has motivated me to keep practicing the essentials! I really need to work on getting on my board quickly after falling. I told Robyn Bell she needs to hold me accountable. 

  1. What would you say your worst wipe out was?

Oh jeez. Me on the Kan last weekend? I’m not very graceful when it comes to wiping out. I had had several bumps and bruises from just running Harvies. I recently ran Santa Claus at the Kan and spooked myself because I got stuck. Wanna watch a funny wipeout? Check out it out @maddienesom on insta


SURFS UP!! @ Harvies Passage- Photo Cred to Bernard Ehalt

  1. Do you do any type of winter training?

My winter training has consisted of skiing mostly. I recently requested to join a hockey team. We’ll see how that goes. I’ll probably hit up my friend YYC SUP Trainer (Chris Prince) for some off-season paddling exercises. 

  1. What is your dream run or trip?

I really want to paddle the Colorado River. I’d love to drive across Canada and paddle as many waterways as possible. 

  1. What is the coolest thing you’ve seen while paddling?

When my sister and I went to the West Coast, we paddled alongside seals in Deep Cove, North Van!

  1. What’s the best advice you would give to someone brand new to paddling?

If you want to paddle more, join Facebook groups and talk to your favourite local shop (Aquabatics duh…) Always keep safety in mind when paddling. Wear your PFD. Most importantly, have fun!

  1. 1 If you could go paddling with anyone in the world past or present who would it be?

Andy Watt. Straight up. I’d also like to go fishing with him. 

  1. Is there anything you would change about sport?

Sometimes I feel like there’s a lot of pressure within the SUP community. If you don’t want to run rivers, don’t run rivers. If you want to stick with SUP touring (or vice versa) stick with SUP touring. SUP is the most accessible water sport. Let’s keep it open to all skills and abilities. 

  1. If you could only have one superpower what would it be and why?

Teleportation. I could be paddling in Colorado tomorrow!

  1. Is there anything I missed you wanted to add?

I'm just looking forward to the 2021 season and hopefully getting more kiddos on the water! Feel free to stop by the shop and say hi. 


Thanks a heap or taking the time to answer some questions for us and those inquisitive minds reading.  You can catch her most opening days at the Calgary shop, if not you may run into her thrashing down a local Calgary river on her SUP. Don’t forget to check out her Insta @maddienesom

Thanks again Madison.


Questions By Andy W.

Answered by Madison N.


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