Big Flows, Big Surf: US Freestyle Kayaking National Championships Wrap Up on Chattahoochee in Columbus, Georgia; Palmer Wins Men, Levknecht Women


You could call it the Kellogg Show. Nearly the entire 12-child Kellogg family (ages 5-21) showed up at this year’s US Freestyle Kayaking National Championships on the Chattahoochee River in Columbus, Georgia, with almost half of them competing, and Kady taking second for the pro women behind Adriene Levknecht. For the men, it was Paul Palmer of Durango, Colo., taking top honors, ahead of Stephen Wright…

In all, 60 men competitors showed up to compete in this year’s championships, held on a feature known as “The Good Wave” on April 14 -15. With classes for Cadets, Juniors, C-1, OC-1, and Seniors, the event was held on the raging Chattahoochee River in downtown Columbus, which has quickly earned itself a reputation as harboring some of the best play waves in the country. Especially this year, when torrential rains flooded the river up to 30,000 cfs during the practice week beforehand, creating monstrous waves throughout the entire section.

By race day, the rains and flows had subsided somewhat, and with the help of GA Power, the target level of 8,000-10,000cfs let kayakers compete on the “Good Wave,” whose breaking foam pile had the freestylers throwing every move under the sun – or thunder, lightning and tornados, as the case was.

“It was an awesome event this year,” says Kady Kellogg. “The whitewater feature there is one of my favorite features in the country. I was super excited to hear that they were going to hold the championships there. The water was at a perfect level for the first few days, running 3 generators, which makes Good Wave a really good wave”

As for the week leading up, however, she adds that everything was huge. “Because of all the rain the Chattahoochee hit flood stage. The water rose all the way up to the riverwalk. But this didn’t stop us from kayaking. As the water level was changing every day we found many new fun waves to play on.”

Case in point: the raging Cutbait wave, which the brave ventured into (watch Jackson Duo surf by Kenny Kellogg and Tom Dolle HERE

“They had a totally epic surf that’s been circulating and going viral on social media,” says Kady. “It was awesome.”

By the day of the event, the water level went back to normal and everyone started showing up.

As for the Kelloggs, all six Kellogg competitors made it to their respective finals, including Kenny and Dally in Junior Men’s; Kady in Women’s Pro, taking second behind Levknecht; Cardy and Rowdy in Cadet Men’s; and from Brody in Pro-Men’s down to Rowdy in Cadets; and Brody taking fifth in Men’s Pro.

For the men, however, it was Paul Palmer dialing in the day’s best rides, taking his first-ever national championship title with a narrow win over Stephen Wright and Hunter Katich.


OC1 Finals
1 Jordan Poffenberger USA
2 Amet Jake USA

C1 Finals
1 Seth Chapelle USA
2 Jordan Poffenberger USA
3 Tom Dolle France
4 Brian Miller USA
5 Tad Dennis USA

Jr Men Finals
1 Corey Sheehan USA
2 Tom Dolle France
3 Hayden Voorhees USA
4 Kenny Kellogg USA
5 Dally Kellogg USA

Women Finals
1 Adriene Levknecht USA
2 Kady Kellog USA
3 Rowan Stuart USA
4 Maria Noakes USA
5 Katie Jackson USA

<b.Cadet M Finals
1 Mason Hargrove USA
2 Landon Miller USA
3 Kaelin Friedenson USA
4 Cardy Kellog USA
5 Rowdy Kellog USA

Men Finals
1 Palmer Paul USA
2 Wright Stephen USA
3 Katich Hunter USA
4 Smith Bennett USA
5 Kellogg Brody USA

Read more on the Kellogg’s HERE

Read more on the event HERE