Armor Series On Location: Lane Jacobs- Living out his childhood dream
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 than some of the best kayakers in the world?
24-year-old Lane Jacobs is one of the biggest names in whitewater kayaking. He is a two-time Collegiate National Champion, a former member of the US Freestyle Kayak Team and recently became a registered nurse.
Lane learned to kayak with his dad in the Oachita Mountains of Arkansas where he spent thousands of hours on the river dreaming of becoming a “pro kayaker” and making kayaking movies that would inspire kids the way they inspired him. He currently lives in White Salmon, Washington — the holy land. It’s called that by people who like outdoor and water sports.
Lane and three other expert kayakers were chosen to test out the new OtterBox Armor Series. While they were on the mini-adventure on the White Salmon River in Washington, we had a chance to ask the flirty Jacobs a few questions.
Q: How do you feel about being chosen as one of the first athletes to try out the new OtterBox Armor Series:
A: It’s an awesome product. It’ll be pretty cool to have your phone on the river and you can just pull it out of your life jacket and shoot a video, or take photos, or post to Facebook. On-river Facebook updates … I’m stoked and feel super lucky to have the opportunity to try it out.
Q: What’s your next adventure?
A: This winter I’m hoping to go to Bhutan and do some first river descents over there. We’re going to do some filming for the Bhutan Board of Tourism so they’re hooking us up to go film in their beautiful country.
Q. What do you pack for every adventure?
A: Some Keystone Lights. Just kidding. A camera, lots of equipment (toys for kayaking) and a sleeping bag and a pad. I’m a bit of a minimalist. I like to fit most of my stuff in my gear bag in my pack when I’m on an adventure so I can be mobile.
A: Nothing. Absolutely nothing … It’s just pure focus. That’s what I love about it. I’m not thinking about anything other than getting to the bottom in one piece. The serenity is what I love about it.
Q: How long do you train every week?
A: If it’s for a competition that I care about and I want to do well in, every day that I’m not working. I just got a job as a registered nurse.
Q: What is your proudest moment in the sport?
A: Surviving the Africa Revolutions tour. It was a four-month African expedition where we explored the white water rivers of Southern Africa and helped educate people about the potential of solar power. I swam with some hippos and saw a few crocodiles. We went through a three-day self-support trip through the savage Murchison Falls section of the Nile in Uganda. We had five absolutely terrifying crocodile chases and saw about 4,000 hippos.
Q: What is your biggest fear?
A: A cubicle
Q: Do you have any superstitions?
A: I don’t pee in the river. I am very superstitious about rivers. I always pick up trash and exercise the “leave no trace” policy. Rivers have given me so much enjoyment and happiness that they’re a very sacred place for me. A lot of the younger paddlers refer to the rivers as church. It’s a pretty spiritual thing.
Q: What are three apps you use most?
A: I hate to say Facebook, but I use it more than anything. Facebook, the NOAA Weather app and Google Maps.
Q: What is your favorite kayaking spot?
A: The Little White Salmon in Washington. It’s the whole reason why I live here.
Q: What safety precautions do you take before going on any trip?
A: I carefully choose the people I paddle with. I’m kind of picky about that.
Q: Do you have a motto or phrase that inspires you?
A: You only have one life to live and it’s short so live it up.
Q: Is there a crazy paddling moment that will never leave you?
A: Swimming with Hippos is probably number one but getting stuffed in a log jam and almost drowning on the Little White Salmon at super high water is also pretty memorable. I wasn’t able to pull my skirt because there was a log pinned on top of my skirt and underneath my boat and I was pinned vertically under water and was pretty sure I was going to drown. Eventually my boat flipped and I swam under it.
Q: What is your favorite boat?
A: Dagger Nomad 8.5.
Q: Do you have certain websites that you always go to?
A: I check NOAA, American White Water for river flows when I don’t have my phone with me and Facebook. I’m always on Facebook.
Q: What does the future hold for you in terms of being a full-time kayaker?
A: Hopefully more international trips and multi-day expeditions.
Q: What do you do in your downtime?
A: If there is downtime, I’m kite boarding, skiing, kayaking or flying. That’s pretty much all I do.
Q: Do you have a nickname?
A: I do, it’s Gravy. I got it in high school due to my smoothness. I’m not really a smooth talker, more like a smooth kayaker. Though, I’m single and on the prowl, so if smooth talking attracts the ladies then I’ll work on that. Hit me up ladies.