My name is Kenzie Carlstrom, I consider myself a water sports enthusiast! I have spent my last 3 winters down under in Australia, I was born in Hood River, Oregon, and partially raised in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, I consider a few places home.
The Pacific Northwest calls me back every Summer but I’m not sure if that is truly home. I was first introduced to the racing industry of SUP in Australia where I was an Au Pair (nanny) and living on the east coast. My very first race was a flat water long distance race in the mangroves near Brisbane/Sunshine Coast, I showed up with nothing, no board, no paddle, thinking I would just watch and meet the SUP community.
I recognized a face from kiteboarding a few days earlier, he had brought his daughters surf SUP, a Naish Alana 8’10” plus an adjustable paddle – he let me borrow it for the race – yahoo I thought!! Off I went zig zagging the entire race probably doing 3x the distance as the other racers, I had so much fun, finishing dead last, exhausted, everyone cheered and of course every race following, the friendly Brisbane SUP club hooked me up with proper gear! I started training in the mornings and started winning every race I entered in Queensland, Australia that season!! I was stoked!!
I have a passionate personality and dive 110% into everything, I have a background of competitive gymnastics, I give that credit for helping me pick up SUP racing so quickly. I have since then pursued whitewater SUPing, yoga SUP, BOP racing, flat water and down-winding in the gorge on the Columbia river. This last summer I paddled 109 miles of the middle fork of the Salmon river in Idaho over 6 days, ran the upper white salmon river multiple times, the Hood river, and played at Kelly’s white water park in Idaho! I have raced in the Naish Paddle challenge the last 2 years, taking home the amateur all-around title in 2015. I was lucky enough to attend the Pacific Paddle Games 2016, some incredible athletes and an eye opener to the industry, I was stoked to participate in it. About a year after that first race in Australia I became an Ambassador for BIC SUP!!
I spend my spare moments designing for my own sports bikini line, VentureSwim, kiting, mt. biking, cooking and working to pay for my travels!!