Jan Choutka


DOB: June 25th, 1995
Natural habitat: Extreme White Water / Extreme Racing / Freestyle  (C1)
Nationality: CZE
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Career Highlights:
+ 1st place Czech Championship in Kayak-Cross 2018
+ 9th place European Championship in Extreme K1 - King of the Alps  2018
+ 1st place Czech Championship in Freestyle 2014
+ oneday descent of Double Vertical Mile 2016, North Fork of the Payette
+ 3rd place Trnava Race (K1) 2014
+ 1st place Krakonosovo Labicko 2013
+5th place European Championship in Freestyle 2012
+ 2nd place Devils Extreme Race 2012
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Where and when did you start paddling?
"My mother was a kayaker, father was a climber. Water has always been closer to me than rocks I guess. I started as a member of a club in my hometown in 2006. I always looked up to the older C1ers I knew. The C1 style was just good looking to me, you know. I like the comparison C1 / K1 to SNB / Ski."
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Did you have choice of kayak and canoe or you had to choose canoe as everybody else in Hradec?
"Before I knew what C1 is I came to the club and I was in the dark boat storage and just pulled out a wrong (right) boat and when I was trying to get comfortable sit with my legs straight somebody told me it's a C1 and you should get a different paddle and kneel. I started to C1."
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Why are you doing this sport?
"It brings joy into my being more than any other things. I am addicted." 
It's the combination of friendship, nature, travelling, wilderness.
Once you get in the zone and you go with the flow there is nothing better.
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What is your favorite spot to paddle?
"Any river, just pick up the right tool/boat and you go after it. I have spent some of the best days kayaking on the Payette river, Idaho and Little White Salmon, Washington."
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What was your best experience on water?
"Every time I run a river zoned in"
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You are probably often the only one in canoe? What's it like?
"It feels like I am one of the group. I don't feel any different in that way. When running a rapid I am on my own, pick up different lines so I have to improvise more."
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Who has influenced you the most in kayaking?
"Many names. I like the influence from extreme, freestyle and slalom as well."
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Have you ever run anything you shouldn't have?
"I think so. Hard to say if I shouldn't have. I got lucky a few times for sure. But those were very important experiences and reminders that I should take a step back and work on something."
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Who is the best kayaker in the world? 
"Tad Dennis, Aniol Serrasolses."
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Have you ever peed in your boat? :D
"Of course I did. I have not tried to piss in my drysuit so far. The day is coming."
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What are your goals and plans for the future?
"I definitely want to keep up C1ing and push it to my new limits: learn how to paddle on the other side, learn how to switch sides in the middle of rapid."
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What do you like to do when you are not in a kayak?
Watching kayaking videos, dreaming of whitewater and I also go to school.
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Does your studies help you in any way in kayaking?
"I think they do. Right now I find myself in the phase of absorption of all the info. This phase is slowing me down at the moment, but I can see the profits from it for years to come. It is busy time going to school, working and kayaking.
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