Get to Know Brooke!
Brooke Hess is a professional Kayaker who started around the age 12 or 13 when her dad brought her to a pond and taught her to roll. He then signed Brooke up for the local youth kayak club in Missoula, MT (her hometown), Zoo Town Surfers. For the first few years of kayaking, she just enjoyed paddling class 2-3 with her dad on the weekends. She was really scared, and had no interest in pushing herself in the sport, but she did enjoy being on the river with her dad and with her friends. When she was 16, USA Freestyle Kayak Team Trials was held on the wave in her hometown, and she had the opportunity to meet and paddle with a bunch of girls her age who were absolutely crushing it at freestyle. She had never seen a girl her age throw tricks before, so when she saw them doing it, she got interested and wanted to try it. She has been hooked on freestyle ever since!
They’re a few competition placings which she is proud of, including winning Montreal Eau Vive in 2017, which is a multi-stage big wave competition in Montreal. She got to stand on the top of the podium with two of her freestyle idols – Claire O’Hara and Emily Jackson – and she was really happy to even be competitive with them, and much more to be standing on the top of the podium with them.
Aside from competitions, she is really proud of how comfortable she have gotten surfing medium-big sized waves. When she first started kayaking, she didn’t even dream of being able to throw airscrews and pistol flips. She had no clue she was capable of that, and she is really proud to have figured them out. The thing she is most proud of is the mentorship she have participated in. She is mentored and coached some young up-and-coming kayakers, and it is really fulfilling to see them progress and become really impressive athletes. She also loves backcountry skiing and climbing!
Unfortunately, being a high level athlete means dealing with a lot of injuries. It is just a part of the game, and it is something she has always had to deal with and will always have to deal with. Her worst injuries were a broken back and a pretty severe concussion, but she has also dealt with a lot of overuse injuries like tendinitis and bursitis. Hopefully Axis can help her deal with those ones to keep them away! She is currently working on my master’s degree in journalism with a focus on science journalism, and she started an internship with NASA’s Planetary Sciences newsroom!
Follow Brooke on Social Media!
Facebook @Brooke Hess