Taylor Cote: newest member of Team Wave Sport. At 14 years old she keeps a pretty busy schedule: riding horses, playing soft ball, summiting Mt. Ranier and kayaking. Her paddling resume is already beginning to outdistance a lot of the boaters that helped get her into the sport initially. She took time off the river to talk about what kayaking means to her.

Taylor-what rivers have you paddled this year?
The rivers I have been paddling include the Upper and Middle Ocoee, III and IV of the Chattooga, Tellico, Watauga, and just recently the Upper and Lower Gauley.

That is quite the line up of rivers for someone who is only 14 years old!
I remember two years ago when my dad and I were learning how to roll in a pool and looking at where I am now makes me feel great. Like I have really been working hard and I can tell because of the rivers I am able to do now and some moves I can do such as hand rolling and back deck rolling.

So what river is next for you?
The next river I plan on doing is the Tallulah Gorge and I can’t wait to walk down the 600 and something steps. I also hope to do the Green and New rivers. I am pretty sure next time I go up to West Virginia I will paddle the New. The Green might happen in a year or two.

Is there any aspect of paddling you would call your favorite?
Playboating is what I really am enjoying and am interested in right now–especially because I am paddling the Fuse. What are some of your favorite play moves? Some of the moves I am working on now are cartwheeling and kickflipping. I would also like to learn how to loop because that is my favorite move. I love when Kayakers loop. I think it is the coolest thing to see.Taylor Cote 012.jpg

Aside from experiencing all these great rivers, what else is going on in your life (besides the normal kid thing called school of course!)
The most recent thing that happened to me is now I am sponsored by Wave Sport which I hope means I’ll be able to work with some people on the team who can help me learn some playboating moves and show me the lines down some new rivers.

So what does kayaking mean for you?
I really don’t think I’ll ever stop paddling. It is too late! It’s already a part of who I am and it helps define me as a person. So I plan to keep paddling even when I am really old because I love the water. Also, all the older people who I see on the river are so awesome and know how things should be done.

What is on your wish listfor the future?
I would like to attend a kayaking high school because that would be such an amazing experience to travel around the world with a group of kids my age. learning together in the afternoon. This would allow me to work on my paddling skills even more. So we will see what the future holds!