Photos by Logan Smith and Mitch Sheridan
A licensed arborist, Dagger team member Adam Chechire Edwards launched his entertaining Instagram Coffee Chats on a whim…but they’ve gained a following among paddlers for everything from their hilarity to honesty. PaddlingLife caught up with him between boating and hosting sessions for his take on his posts, paddling and his chats going viral…
PaddlingLife: Adam, what do you call your coffee and whitewater morning chats that you have been performing on Instagram?
Adam: Ha ha …I don’t actually have a name for them. Originally, I started doing Barack Obama impersonations and called it Barry in the Back Room. I’ll have to come up with something.
PaddlingLife: It seems like you are giving sage life advice, a pep talk, and speaking truths in the morning chat. Where did you get the inspiration?
Adam: A lot of it comes out of my life experience, and the lessons I’m continually learning. I spend a lot of time awake and thinking about past, present, and future – reading the news and all the interactions and experiences I’ve had on a day-to-day, monthly, yearly, lifelong basis. And yeah, it just comes back to trying to keep things simple and remembering a lot of the lessons I grew up with and boiling them down to some basic moral precepts and ideas.
PaddlingLife: How long have you been kayaking?
Adam: I got into whitewater in about 2009 and started kayaking around 2010. So a good 13 years or so.
PaddlingLife: What are your favorite kayaks and rivers to boat?
Adam: I really love my Dagger Vanguard, Rewind and large Code. And I loved them even before I was on the team. My favorite rivers are the Wind River, and the Little White Salmon, or a party lap with friends on Canyon Creek or Hagen.
PaddlingLife: Do you love living in the greater Portland area for the whitewater options?
Adam: I do love living in the metro area and not just for the whitewater options, though they are plentiful. I also surf, snowboard, climb, and have a bit of a city boy in me as well.
PaddlingLife: What are you doing for work these days?
Adam: I am still working in the tree care industry. I am a licensed arborist, and I’m working towards becoming a board-certified master arborist.
PaddlingLife: Dagger has been working on that new Vanguard long boat they just released and we’ve been seeing you out in that on a variety of whitewater. Can you tell us about your experience in it?
Adam: I really got my first taste for long boating out East, with some of the Boone crew. And I’ve been hooked ever since. The Vanguard is an awesome kayak…it really is going to become one of my primary boats to paddle. It just dials in a lot of the fundamentals of boating, and when you switch back to a short boat, you just feel so much more powerful. Believe it or not, it doesn’t feel to me like you’re having a 12-foot boat. It’s super nimble, fast and easy to control. I’m excited to continue paddling on my home runs because it opens new moves in opportunities….in places I’ve paddled for years.
PaddlingLife: Where did you grow up, and did you paddle as a kid?
Adam: I grew up all over the U.S. My father was a pastor and we moved a lot. We’ve always lived near water for the most part. I was born in Florida and did medium to long stints in Michigan, Illinois, Quebec, and Arizona. I didn’t get into paddlesports until college, but I learned how to swim as a toddler and continued that into high school—not on the team or anything, but I just liked swimming. Not so much as a kayaker, though.
PaddlingLife: What’s your hope for the paddling world over the next five years…if you could change something in it?
Adam: I want greater knowledge, exposure and drive to increase the lack of diversity in the sport across a variety of arenas like race, gender, and sexual orientations. I want it to be a more safe space… I know, there are many participants in the sport, that self-police themselves, because they do not feel entirely safe from certain behaviors that are acceptable in our culture. I want greater strides to be made around the trajectory of the sport, both in terms of safety, on and off the water. Adrenaline sports are often used to cope with the problems of life and that can be to a great disservice to someone’s personal mental health and growth. It obviously also is a great place to find community and find the help that is needed so I want to see more of that.
PaddlingLife: Have you got some big plans for 2023 paddling-wise or otherwise?
Adam: This year may be a little slower for me. I am trying to focus on expanding my career and spending quality time with family and friends both on and off the water. Making good on some promises to visit friends and family. Likely, there’s generally water in all those areas. Maybe more exploring of the Olympic peninsula and British Columbia.
Follow Adam on instagram @adamchechireedwards
- Adam is a Team Dagger paddler and Portland paddling local who has been tearing it up for years around the Northwest