Jan Choutka

DOB: June 25th, 1995
Natural habitat: Extreme White Water / Extreme Racing / Freestyle  (C1)
Nationality: CZE
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
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."
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."
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.
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."
What was your best experience on water?
"Every time I run a river zoned in"
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."
Who has influenced you the most in kayaking?
"Many names. I like the influence from extreme, freestyle and slalom as well."
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."
Who is the best kayaker in the world? 
"Tad Dennis, Aniol Serrasolses."
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."
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."
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.
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.