Ryan O'Connor

Ryan Oconnor white water kayaker

Instagram handle @coast_boating
Favourite outdoor activities – Paddling!! Being in the mountains on the water. 
Must do adventure in NZTatare tunnels walk in Franz Joseph.

When you are the child of a Former Olympian (Mum) and world class level track runner (Dad) the pressure to succeed in sports is a big one. Unfortunately for my parents I was never that into running in circles on the athletics track, but more into running across mountain tops, attempting to circumnavigate islands and flying off large waterfalls, in-between trying to fit in all of my other sports and social life!

I first started to compete in multisport racing at the age of 17 where I pursued local races such as Mountain Man Race, South Westland Triathlon and paddling in the Coast to Coast. But then as I started my study of a Diploma in Outdoor Instruction and Guiding, I struggled for time to train, do my homework and to explore the new found adventures I was learning about.

At the age of 19 I hung up the bike and put way the running shoes which were very quickly replaced with a white water kayak. I starting kayaking back in high school, playing canoe polo and competing in slalom. I quickly picked up some serious skills and the sport soon became my main focus with me travelling over to the USA my first year out of study to compete and adventure all over the west coast of America (California, Oregon, Washington state and Idaho). I paddled every river I could get my hands on. Then coming home to make some more money before I was off once again to the States to tick off the large rivers I had missed out on the year before.

 Between all the kayaking and travelling I have worked as a raft guide, sea kayak guide, caving guide and kayak instructor which I am currently doing in Christchurch for Top Sport Kayaking, helping people to get their kayaking ready for the Coast to Coast race!

 I’m excited for the future of my kayaking with 2019 plans of Norway, Iceland and Chile in the works and much more in the near future.

Fave piece of kit from FurtherFasterPyranha Ripper!! This is my favourite boat by far!
Fun facts – I had a ginger mullet before it was sexy.

Ryan ready to shred


Finding some peace before diving in