Hi, my name is Makinley Kate Hargrove and I am 12 years old. My home river is the Chattahoochee, at the RushSouth Whitewater Park, nestled between Phenix City, Alabama and Columbus, Georgia.

How I Got Started:
My dad was the first to start kayaking in our family, and before long it became a sport loved by all 6 of us. We would spend an entire weekend at the river, which turned into weekday lunch and evening sessions that quickly open the doors for traveling to new rivers along the Southeast and out West.

Little Shredder Introduction - Makinley Kate Hargrove

My first boats were a Jackson Kayak Sidekick and a Jackson Kayak Shooting Star. Having boats that fit me, at 8 years old, made kayaking a positive experience for both learning to roll and learning how to paddle in the whitewater current. The Sidekick saw me down my first downriver race, and helped grow my confidence as I learned how to run larger rapids. The Shooting Star fueled my love of downriver play, the discipline of freestyle, and really everything kayaking.

Now, four years later, I’m paddling the Jackson Kayak Rockstar XS, and loving the continuous progression in boat sizes. Personally, I feel that I am not limited by my size and can easily practice and learn tricks because I have a properly fitting kayak. I am consistently growing in my abilities within the freestyle discipline, which has resulted with me placing 2nd at the 2019 US Nationals for the Coed Cadet category, among numerous other podium finishes. Of course, hard work coupled with the many people that encourage and taught me, also impacts the paddler that I am today.

Little Shredder Introduction - Makinley Kate Hargrove

Why Kayaking:
When asked the question about why I like kayaking, my mind drifts to the community, the travel, the bonds it has created with my immediate family, and the opportunities it provides me to express myself and stay healthy. Kayaking is more than a sport to me, it is a passion to be in the water and try new things that not a lot of people do.

Little Shredder Introduction - Makinley Kate Hargrove

A Look Back:
My 2019 was filled with many festivals, competitions, rivers, and opportunities to volunteer. A few highlights, first include my experience at the GoPro Mountain Games, in Vail, Colorado. I competed for the first time in the Open Women’s Category, as they do not separate ages. In the water, which was snow an hour before, I scored a Loop with air, a Space Godzilla with air and huge points added. I will always remember the feelings of accomplishment and the atmosphere of paddling next to my kayaking heroines. The second experience I am excited to share, is winning my first downriver race on the Milk Run during the Race to the Grill. Racing freely down the river for 1.25 miles against 5 other U15 girls, is something I will never forget. Last, my experiences of volunteering alongside my family is significant because we share our love of the river with others. I was able to loan out my kayaks and teach introduction to kayaking, showing others that being away from the television and the internet can be fun and exciting.

Please enjoy my YOUTUBE highlight video https://youtu.be/nsHUsTKrYqc

Follow me on my adventures on Instagram @makinleykate and @hargroveadventures
YouTube @hargroveadventures
Facebook @Makinley Kate Hargrove and @Hargrove Adventures