Appreciating bros while they’re alive & thoughts on Corran Addison

     Date: Wednesday, March 28th, 2012
Writing From: Perez Zeledon, Costa Rica

I have been debating with myself the past 24 hours on whether or not to share something I wrote on my personal blog, but seeing a facebook post from a guy I really admire pushed me to do it. Check it out if you want (some pg-13 language).

This is about appreciating your bros while they’re alive. Your friends. The people you love. It’s about NOT waiting to say how wonderful someone is until after they’re dead.

Today, in this case here in FLI Life: Horizons, it’s about me speaking the truth about a guy who I have never met in person, just dialogued on email with a dozen times over the years on topics like the whitewater classification scale, hull design, and SUP in rivers…and yet this guy has had a huge impact on my life.

Corran Addison posted a de facto press release on facebook today that he’s no longer part of Imagine Surf, the company he had built from scratch and been working on the past decade.

It’s been sold a couple times and as these things go, Corran (the risky creator) and the new corporate owners (blase and risk-averse) butted heads. So he left.

I’m truly excited to see what he does next. Because he’s a guy who never stops creating, refining, looking for new ways to innovate.

I have mad respect for that.

Like I said, I don’t know the guy on a deep personal level. But I’ve bantered with him about, well, stuff that people would consider his “mad scientist” side. It’s fascinating.

Because the thing about people who inspire change and move things forward, as that famous Apple commercial said, “the crazy ones”, is that it’s not something they necessarily consciously work at doing.

It’s just who they are. Creating is part of who this guy is. Innovating is something he has to do. It just comes out of him.

But what is interesting to me is that he doesn’t get the attention or, in my view, the respect that he deserves.

For example, the Addison Scale for whitewater is so much better than the typical international whitewater scale!

And yet people ignore it and stick with something TOTALLY OUTDATED instead – how many “class V’s” actually take class III skill and have class III or IV danger at 2012 skill and gear levels? Tons! (I’m talking ’bout you, Upper Gauley!)

And of course there are plenty of politics in the kayaking industry, but he made some crazy revolutionary boat designs over the years…much more than just with Dragorossi, as I found out recently. But others get the credit.

He’s like the Ryan Tedder of the kayaking world. And just like Ryan requires a google search despite the mind-blowing number of grammy’s that his clients have won, Corran is under-appreciated in the kayaking world.

And then what about surfing? Multi-piece boards, eco-friendly materials, the first legit river SUP’s, the first one to rotomold a purpose-built plastic river SUP, the guy who repeatedly tossed himself off waterfalls on a SUP just because he believed it could be done…and unlike 99% of the waterfall-hucking SUP pictures out there, Corran actually has pictures of him landing the falls upright on his board.

But whenever I bring Corran up in conversation with whitewater folks, the response is anywhere from tepid to condescending. I can only speculate at the reasons.

Sure, maybe Corran doesn’t have an army of vapid followers, like EJ Jackson does. That’s not really his style anyway, while it definitely plays to EJ’s strengths.

At the very least though, Corran Addison deserves respect. While he’s here in our midst, doing what he does best.

The guy has risked ridicule and reputation time and time again purely because it’s who he is to innovate and see how he can make things better. And he has – whether anybody else in his industries will admit it or not.

With leaving Imagine Surf, now, who knows where he’s headed? He probably doesn’t even know. But wherever it is, in whatever sport, I’m sure he’ll be pushing the limits and twisting conventions every which way to create something new, something better, something just a little more fun.

Here’s to you, Corran Addison. Here’s to evolution.
I told you so.]

 

Until next time, get outside and FLI!

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Josh Galt ~ FLI
Face Level Industries

Josh Galt ~ FLI

An artist, athlete, and entrepreneur, Josh Galt is the creator and editor of FaceLevel.com and the director of the Riverboarding World Championship. Josh has been riverboarding all around the world now for 20 years, and sliding headfirst on snow since he was old enough to walk. He calls Costa Rica home, but is currently based in Asia.

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