White Salmon, WA Member since January 2017
Rush Sturges Bio By Mark Anders If there’s ever been someone who seemed destined to kayaking greatness, it is Rush Sturges. Raised in a tiny town on the banks of California’s Salmon River, Rush literally grew up at a kayak school. In the early 1980s, his parents founded Otter Bar Lodge Kayak School, which is now considered one of the nation’s top paddling schools. Although Rush obviously learned how to kayak at a very early age, it wasn’t until 10 years old that he really became interested in the sport. Quickly building on his solid background of skills, Rush showed huge potential, and instead of going to a traditional high school, he was accepted into World Class Academy, an innovative traveling kayaking program and high school. That experience further honed his skills and, by age 17, Rush earned a spot on the U.S. Junior Freestyle Kayaking Team. The following year, he won the 2003 Junior World Championship in Graz, Austria. From there, Rush shifted his focus to first descents and running highly technical steep creeks throughout California and Europe. Meanwhile he also pioneered the downriver freestyle movement, performing complex freestyle moves while going over waterfalls. In addition, Rush has been a member of several high profile expeditions, including the first full descent of the Congo River’s Inga Rapids, one of the largest and most dangerous rapids on the planet. Today, Rush is widely considered by his peers to be one of the world’s best all-around paddlers, equally competent at waterfall running, remote expedition paddling, freestyle and downriver racing. In addition to his highly successful professional kayaking career, Rush has also developed an equally successful career in action sports filmmaking. He first picked up a video camera as a young teenager, filming and editing (and selling) videos for guests paddling at Otter Bar. This morphed into filming and producing kayaking videos of his own extreme exploits as well as those of his fellow pro paddler friends and, eventually, the creation of River Roots, a well-respected action sports film production house based out of Rush’s adopted home of White Salmon, Washington. To date, Rush has made eight kayaking films, several of which have won awards including X-Dance Best Film as well as accolades at the Banff Mountain Film Festival. As if all of that wasn’t enough, Rush also writes and performs his own rap music. His latest album, “A Life Worth Living,” was released in the summer of 2016 and features a song heard in the closing credits of Chasing Niagara. Rush's filmography includes: Next Generation, New Reign, Dynasty, Source, Africa Revolutions Tour, Dream Result, Frontier and Chasing Niagara.