Armor Series On Location: Christie Glissmeyer-Loving it off the beaten path
You might be wondering, “What are you doing hanging out with kayakers?” Well, when we test our products, we thoroughly test our products. And who better to test our new Armor Series case than some of the best kayakers in the world?
33-year-old Christie Glissmeyer is a professional kayaker, world record holder and an international champion kayaker on the competitive circuit. She earned her world record title by running 82-foot Metlako Falls on Oregon’s Eagle Creek.
Glissmeyer became addicted to kayaking while working as a raft guide when she was 19-years-old. She started with sea kayaking and progressed to creeking and running waterfalls. She credits her parents’ love of rafting for her love of the water.
Glissmeyer and three other expert kayakers were chosen to test out the new OtterBox Armor Series. While on the mini adventure on the White Salmon River in Washington, we had a chance to ask the peaceful Glissmeyer a few questions.
Q: How do you feel about being one of the first athletes to try the Armor Series?
A: I think it’s really cool. I definitely can’t wait to keep one. I’m really hard on phones and I always break them and I actually just broke my flip phone recently and I just got my first iPhone. That is my main concern, that I’m going to drop it or get it wet. One time, my purse got really wet and I drowned my phone inside. I’ve really wanted an iPhone, but they’re so fragile, so when I saw that you guys had this and that I could just put it in my life jacket it will make life so much easier since we don’t have a lot of space to store stuff. I think it’s basically perfect.
A: I’m actually leaving tonight for a three-day self-supported trip on the South Fork Salmon in Idaho with eight other women. We’re doing a bachelorette party for Kim and me.
Q: Can you explain what goes through your mind when you’re at the top of a waterfall?
A: I just think it’s a really cool feeling. It’s cool to be scared and know that your navigation is going to determine whether you’re going to make it through successfully or not. You do have your team there and that’s a huge part of it, but that you’re navigating your way through all the chaos that’s going on around you. It’s exciting to be immersed in so much power and travel through it. It’s really humbling and makes you feel so small.
Q: Do you do any training off the water?
A: I do a lot of yoga and I swear by it. I probably do yoga three times a week and then I jog two times a week, but that’s pretty much it besides boating. I have a few other sports that I like to do like snowboarding, but the cool thing about living here (Oregon) is that you can paddle year-round. There are not a lot of places in the United States where you can do that.
Q: What is your proudest moment in the sport?
A: I had a cool opportunity about three years ago, so I went and ran an 82 foot waterfall on Eagle Creek and no other woman had ever run it before. It ended up being the women’s world waterfall record so that was one of my most exciting moments. It was almost twice as big as anything I’d ever run before, but it felt awesome. I’d always wondered what it felt like to paddle off a horizon line that big.
Q: Do you have any superstitions?
A: I don’t really have any superstitions but I have a ritual when I get in my boat. I splash water all over my spray skirt, so it’s nice and stretchy and won’t pop off in the middle of a rapid. Then I get my hands wet to make sure that they aren’t oily and won’t slide on the paddle. I warm up my shoulders and get nice and loose before I go on my way.
Q: What are the three apps you use most?
A: Flashlight, Facebook and NOAA Radar US
A: You get out into really remote places and you get access to areas and canyons that there’s no other way you could get in there. You hardly ever see other people because you’re so far away from everything. Beautiful waterfalls and grottos … Kind of off the beaten path.
Q: What’s your favorite boat and why?
A: I like the Dagger Nomad because it carries a nice speed through rapids and stays up high on the water. It’s easy to maneuver and is very responsive.
Q: Do you have a favorite paddling memory?
A: Last summer I was running the Little White Salmon and we got to the Spirit Falls and my boyfriend knelt down to get his camera out of the dry box and he got out a ring and proposed to me right near the lip of the falls. Totally shocked me … but was a really special experience.
Q: Do you have any websites that you always go to?
A: I use Pat Welch’s river flow guide and the USGS River Flow site a lot … and American Whitewater. I use Facebook and I have a blog: northwestlivin.blogspot.com. I also spend a lot of time on YouTube.
Q: Why do you think that there are relatively few female paddlers?
A: In kayaking you really need to be aggressive sometimes. I just think it’s one of those things that if you try it, you’ll absolutely love it but it’s not really worth the risk and for some reason girls try it… it’s not really worth the risk for some girls and they don’t get hooked. I also don’t think a lot of women have the opportunity to try it.
Q: Do you have a nickname?
A: My family calls me beanie.
We had a fantastic time with Christie and you can see more of Christie in the OtterBox Armor case study video below. She’s easy to spot with her bright pink helmet. You can also follow her blog and on Twitter.