Expedition kayaker, Ben Stookesberry is fast becoming one of the most recognized individuals in paddle-sports. Unlike some extreme sports athletes, he doesn’t sport a mohawk or have any facial piercings. So, you might not notice this unassuming man if he passed you on the street. The type of recognition that Ben Stookesberry is receiving as of late is the much more impressive type. In 2008, he was recognized as National Geographics “Explorer of the Year.” Now Stookesberry is in the Kayaking Hall of Fame.
Last month, October 16th, the International Halls of Fame: Bicycling, Rowing, Canoeing, Kayaking honored Stookesberry by including him in the 2010 class. Along with Jim Schreiner also for Kayaking, Larry Kolwaite for bicycling, Russ Dahlin for bicycling, Bill Garret rowing, and Pam Hyland canoeing. The six nominees all gathered in Utica New York for the evenings festivities.
Stookesberry’s Clear H2O Films team is known for its Hotel Charley series of films. He was nominated by Jackson Kayak founder and President Eric “EJ” Jackson, who was inducted into the Halls of Fame in 2006. “Ben Stookesberry is the most motivated, successful, and genuine expedition kayaker in a very long time,” Jackson told the Hall of Fame selection committee.
Stookesberry has been pushing the limits of kayaking seeking out new unexplored locations that push the boundaries of navigable water. “Kayaking is a one of a kind medium for experiencing some of the last untouched places on the planet,” Stookesberry said. In 2008, National Geographic Adventure magazine recognized the achievements of Stookesberry and Clear H2O Films partner Jesse Coombs by naming them Adventurers of the Year.
Stookesberry is a Class V expedition kayaker who has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including Wall Street Journal, NBC’s Today Show and the American News Room. He was the first kayaker to descend 70+ sections of rivers in 13 countries. In addition, Ben has produced 8 feature-length kayak movies through his production company, Clear H2O Films. Most notably, he has helped construct three county bridges, a forest service fish hatchery, an ice skating rink and a county waste transfer station.
“At Jackson Kayak we choose team members for their skill but also for their integrity, passion and dedication to the sport. Rafa and Ben are leading examples of this ethic and I speak for our entire team in applauding them,” said Jackson.
Here is a list of other Ben Stookesberry achievements:
• Bachelor’s of Science with a double major in Math and Geology
• Wilderness First Responder
• Swift Water Rescue Certification
• ACA Instructor Certificate
• 2009 – Recognized expedition kayaker in the Wall Street Journal
• 2007 – National Geographic Adventure Hero of the Year
• 2006-2009 – Contributor to the non-profit organization South Asian River Skills Institute
• 2005 – Banff Film World
• 2003-2004 – Two-time Banff Mountain Film Festival Selection
• 2nd place finish at the Red Bull Divide and Conquer
For more information on the International Halls of Fame check out their website:
For more information on Ben Stookesberry and Clear H2O films check out their website: