“Funemployed” (By KAVU LIFESTYLER Spencer Beck)


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KAVU LIFESTYLER Spencer Beck has a way of mincing words. Exhibit A: His new “”Funemployed” video and story, a kayaking compilation edit we wish we could all be part of. In a nutshell, Beck had been itching for a big adventure for a long time, making short trips on breaks from work for the last few years, but finding it hard to truly experience a place when you can only stay for a few days. So, in 2022 he quit his job, moved out of his house, and packed up everything for an extended paddling tour in Central and South America. This is a short edit from the time he was “Funemployed” KAVU Days ahead!

KAVU Days Ahead!

Funemloyent indeed…

The first stop on the “Funemployment” tour was Veracruz, Mexico. I have been to Veracruz many times over the last few years, and this place is very close to my heart. I bussed in to Jalcomulco, where I met up with my good friend Issac Martinez. Issac and I have paddled together a lot, and he is one of my go-to paddling partners….. always down for an adventure.

Shortly after I arrived, a big rain brought the rivers up and the Río Sordo came up to a great level. Issac and I ran the first descent of this river the year before, but didn’t run a few big drops on our first trip. So, we went back in with more water and were able to run the first descent of a beautiful, but stout 70’ waterfall we named “Cascada Nauyaca.” We also managed the second descent of another big waterfall just downstream. It was one of the most stout days of paddling I’ve ever had, and we celebrated by the river that evening with mariscos and micheladas.

A true KAVU day!

The next three weeks were spent paddling around Veracruz and San Luis Potosi. We paddled some of my “bucket list” rivers including the Xico and Río Verde, and managed to get one more big first descent near Jalcomulco before I left for the next leg of my journey.

From Mexico, I flew to Costa Rica and was picked up from the airport by paddling legend, and fellow KAVU athlete, Andre Coto. Andre had been living with me in White Salmon this year, and talked me into coming to his home country for a three-week paddling tour.

We went straight to the Pacuare Fest for a downriver race and I was able to meet a lot of the local paddling community.

Beck, reaping the liquid rewards of another Kavu Day.

Next, we traveled around the country and Andre showed us some of his favorite rivers in Costa Rica. We went to races, paddled a few classics, and got a few awesome first descents. The community was very welcoming everywhere we went, and I made a lot of new friends.

At the end of my three weeks in this beautiful place, I left already planning a return trip. Andre has since been crushing new rapids and waterfalls, while also starting a kid’s kayak program!

Watch Video Here:

From Costa Rica, I flew south to Chile and met up with David Lemmen, a paddler that I’d met earlier this year in Canada. We connected at a paddling festival and planned this trip after talking for less than five minutes.

From a simple and brief conversation, we could tell that we had similar goals, and for the next two months, we traveled around Chile and Argentina together.

Starting off near Pucon, Chile, we first went on a big waterfall tour, running a lot of the classic drops that Chile is known for. Then we caught a ride to Argentina and paddled a mix of classic rivers on longer expeditions in the central Andes. We lucked out and happened to be in Mendoza when Argentina won the World Cup, deciding to stick around for the weeks of celebration afterwards. We finished our trip with some amazing big water and “lifestyling” on the Diamante and Futaleufurivers.

One thing that struck me on this trip was how welcoming the community was everywhere I went.

From Mexico to Patagonia, people welcomed us with open arms, shared their food and stories with us, and gave us places to stay while we were traveling. All of this without knowing us beforehand, and based solely on a common interest in adventure. Pure KAVU style.

Video link here: https://youtu.be/fq4uSO-6aiY

Read more of the story here: https://adventure.kavu.com/funemployment


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