Meet our team

Steve Brooks

Steve lives, sleeps & eats kayaking. From breaking the ice on the side of the river, in an eddy, in winter in Great Britain at the beginning of his career to running some of the deepest gorges, dense jungle, huge volume & high altitude rivers in the world. In fact Steve has paddled in over 15 different countries and on 5 continents along the way kayaking several first descents!  

It is this sense of adventure and facing the unknown that drives his passion for expedition kayaking. Steve's love for adventure combined with his drive and passion has made his expeditions hugely successful. In 2013 Steve was awarded Canoe and Kayak UK magazine Adventurer of the Year!

Steve has also been coaching and instructing for over 20 years now. Throughout this time he has continually strived to develop and update his coaching style and qualifications. In 2015 he completed his Advanced Whitewater Endorsement course with British Canoeing. Being able to coach at such a high level will only help you develop as a whitewater kayaker and can open a new chapter in your kayaking career!!

Steve speaks fluent German, Spanish and is slowly getting to grips with Hindi!

 
 
 

Ute Heppke

Ute hails from one of Europe’s top kayaking destinations. Since learning to kayak on the rivers here in Austria, Ute has spent the past 10 years kayaking on 5 continents including some of the most famous rivers in the world such as the Grand Canyon of Colorado, USA and the Urubamba in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Peru.  However, it is in the Indian Himalayas, kayaking the Zanskar Gorge in Ladakh, the Ganges and its tributaries in Uttarakhand and a "First Descent" down the River Uhl in Himachal Pradesh that has become her greatest personal achievements so far!

Ute not only holds the ISIA ski and snowboard instructor award but she has also gained her Ski Guide qualification from the Austrian Mountain Guide Association. In the Winter Ute spends her day in the mountains teaching skiing and off-piste guiding in Zuers am Arlberg - Austria's most prestigious ski school!

Her laid back style, charm and endless patience are complemented by holding one of the best kayak coaching qualifications in the industry. Her English and knowledge of the English language and humour is fantastic!

 
 
 

David Joos

Originally from Belgium he has made Pucon and Chile his home. A great kayaker with an even better sense of humour David has represented Belgium at the Freestyle World Championships. He makes you feel at ease with kayaking on the rivers of his adopted homeland and he brings an extra dimension of telling stories of local events, history and of course its food and culture.

He spends 8 months of the year as a professor at the Pucon University teaching the students the art of rafting and kayaking. He has taught and assessed pretty much all of the raft guides and safety kayakers working in Pucon and with plenty of other ex-students working from Santiago down to Patagonia he has the perfect contacts for each valley and the current water levels! David is also an American Canoe Association Kayaking Instructor, a Wilderness First Responder Instructor and President of the Whitewater Kayaking Club in Pucon.

Among with the five languages he fluently speaks, the local Chileno Spanish is extremely advantageous and rest assured that if you enjoy a beer there will always be a cold one waiting for you at the take-out!

 
 
 

Stanzin Tanfan

Hailing from Lingshed in the middle of the Zanskar mountain range in Ladakh, northern India which is one of the remotest places on the planet and was formally known as Indo Tibet. Stanzin was given his name, as is the Buddhist custom, by the local Lama of the famous Linshed Gompa. Translated to English it means “the open path” - so no wonder he will be showing you some great lines down the river! 

Stanzin loves to kayak and is an integral part of our Team in the Indian Himalayas. As he speaks Ladakhi, Tibetan, Hindi and English, Stanzin can talk to the locals on the side of the river and translate what they are saying or ask them any questions you might have,  making our Himalayan trips all the more special.

Stanzin has amazing stories of living and growing up in the Zanskar Mountains and with a special trip planned for 2018 there is no-one better to show us such a stunning but also very inhospitable area with its cultures, customs and of course amazing rivers.