A Paddler- Twenty Questions with Aquabatics Ambassador Koby Trinker

This weeks 20 questions blog brings us to Koby. Normally I'd add a snippet and a joke or two in the preface to the 20 questions Blogs. Koby nailed it with his personal introduction to the team so i thought I'd share part of that instead. Enjoy. 

. "My passion for the water extends broadly from cold rivers to hot bubble baths, both better with ducks as company. I originally fostered this passion back in the days of being a feral child at the water park and unbeknownst to me, I would only find that pure joy in adulthood upon discovering paddling shortly after high school. Since that discovery, the water has seeped into all aspects of my life, travelling extensively to rivers around the world and working for the past ten summers as raft guide across BC"

Now without further ado, 20 questions with Koby Trinker.

1. Who the heck are yeah?

This one’s easy, I’m Koby!

2. Where yeah from?

Celista, and props to anyone who knows where that is (your a true geographer!). It’s a small town in the interior of BC on the shores of Shuswap lake, but I’ve called Revelstoke home since moving there to be closer to all the creeks in 2012

Koby in the thick of things, photo credit to Ari Bruns

3. When did you start paddling?

2011, (18 years old) I made it my mission to learn how to paddle that summer. I had a weird learning curve where I spent a week going to the lake in front of my house everyday with my Mom’s old paddling gear. I spent two days yelling at the sky as I swam repeatedly failing miserably trying to re-right myself. Fortunately I had little else to do and by the end of the week I had done about 600 rolls. I did 600 more on eddy lines the following week but I figured it out eventually..

4. What are you looking forward to this upcoming season as an Aquabatics Ambassador?

I’m excited to contribute to a team who's goal is to grow the sport paddling! Between the entire group we have a massive breadth of interdisciplinary experience and hopefully I can share some of mine to help build stoke for the world of whitewater kayaking!

5. Why kayak when there’s so many other ways to get on the water?

I’m not too sure, I’ve been enjoying River SUP’ing on easier runs lately too, but a Kayak is just such a capable craft that's so nimble and fun once you really learn to control it, especially with the recent trend of fast boat designs in whitewater. Rafting is the other winner here, being able to take people with virtually no experience down a river is pretty cool, and so is being able to able to eat steak and drink beer at camp on extended river trips.

6. Do you remember what your first kayak was? colour?

Necky Jive, green and yellow. It was my mothers and she still has it, but I bought and identical one a few years back and it’s still among my favorites in the quiver.

7. If you could build the perfect kayak what would it look like?

 I’m super stoked on designs like the Dagger Rewind lately which take the hull shape from boats like the Jive, adding bow volume and rocker and essentially turning them into creek boats that still surf and play like it’s 1999.

8. Where’s your favourite place to paddle, well one your comfortable sharing with the world anyway?

I spend my summers in Revelstoke because the way the freshet works means your paddling a different world class run every two weeks as levels change….

Buuut, Clearwater BC has two weeks a year when the surf on the Clearwater is Prime, and a river called Raft is flowing. You end up spending half of your day running one of the worlds best creeks and the other half of your day surfing some of Western Canada’s best waves, it’s hard to beat.

9. What's the longest commute you’ve made for a weekend of paddling?

I did a solo weekend trip up to Paddlefest (North West Territories) from Revelstoke once upon a time (1,625km’s one way) but it was totally woorth it. The Slave River is on it’s own esteemed level of cool, it’s like really, really, really, reeaally ridiculously cool.

10. Do you enjoy paddling competitions? Why?

Absolutely, first of all they’re always a giant reunion with the best community in existence. Secondly it’s an awesome way to challenge yourself and get excited about a piece of whitewater that on its own might not be the most exciting for your skill level. I’m particularly fond of the Western Canadian festival scene where the focus is on celebrating the sport of whitewater more than determining the fastest paddler!

11. How are you pushing yourself on the water?

One paddle stroke at a time

About to send it. -Photo Credit to Steph Trinker

12. What are your paddling strengths? Areas for improvement?

I spend most of my time creeking and surfing/playing in old school long boats, so I like to think that’s where I succeed more than fail. Playboating in holes and falling straight off waterfalls more than 40 feet tall both are a little baffling to me still, but I get by..

13. What would you say your worst bail was?

I was closer than some and farther than others from drowning in my one truly heinous swim, but I’d rather talk about the time I flipped launching off the top lip and reconnected upside down near the bottom of the slide pictured here….miraculously I had a headache equivalent to three pints the night before and was otherwise unharmed….

14. What’s your dream run or trip?

I’ve a few trips I’ve been dreaming of in recent years, Russia and Georgia being near the top based on both the culture and the kayaking, Zambezi too!

15. What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen while paddling?

The single coolest thing!? I’ll trim the list down to four: direction conflicts with mid-river grizzly bears; trees that glow in the dark; canyons that close over you head but open around you like cathedrals; and giant icicles breaking off of 100m high cliffs and showering down into the river beside you.

Drive it like you stole it.-photo credit to Pierce Huser

16. What’s the best advice you would give to someone brand new to whitewater?

Embrace the upside-down realm (and master rolling up)! If you can learn to love flipping and being flipped in your kayak you will have more fun every time you go paddling and your skills will build exponentially faster as well!

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

I’ve been really stoked at going paddling with my girlfriend Sophie as of lately. She’s a beater who couldn’t be more stoked and I get to see her progress every time we go out which gets me stoked as well, also Richard Maggs for the same reasons!

18. Is there anything you would change about sport?

I would change the effects that long days in neoprene shorts have on my bum..

19. If you had to pick your favorite donut and why?

The maple ones with bacon strips on the top because it’s Canada in donut form and my “ancient brain” is an jerk who likes stuff like that. 

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

Water (of the white variety)


Throw those jazz hands way up in the air for Koby. A great big thank you for taking the time and answering some questions.  Were stoked on what this season will bring with Koby as an Aquabatics Ambassador. 


Questions by Andy W. Answered by Koby T. 


Check out social media, Koby style at 

Facebook @Koby Trinker     Insta @Waterfall_stalker