One of my favorite memories from ZTS is when me and Scott Doherty hopped in the old, silver World Class Kayak Academy van with some local teenagers from Missoula and travelled north to Canada and all the way up to BC, topping it off with some world class surf at Skookumchuck Rapids. The van smelled worse than a football locker room, and our gear would repel anyone that came close. Life was simple and all we cared about was kayaking and paddling hard. That was what ZTS was – A youth kayaking club with a bunch of dirtbags that liked kayaking a lot. We all had plenty of spirit and it worked for us.
Scott (co-founder) and I always had plans to grow it into something bigger and we certainly did. I never imagined ZTS would be where it’s at today. For years, I have tried to answer the question of what the ZTS experience is but have always had a hard time putting my finger on it. There have been so many times after long days where I found myself wondering, “how on earth did we do that”. What makes it special are the guest, the guides, friends, family, countless mishaps, laughter, tears, joy, flat tires, and lost pieces of gear. Looking back, some of the more challenging days/moments are the most memorable ones.
My only goal when I started ZTS was to create a business that would allow me to kayak 250+ days of the year. I accomplished that goal for many years paddling hard and living my life to the fullest. The desire to spend as much time on the river with my family and friends is stronger than ever and there is a sense of urgency burning inside me.
I’m excited to announce that there are new owners of Zoo Town Surfers, Megan and Ian Fodor-Davis. Over the last 10 years, I have had the opportunity to build a friendship with Ian and Megan and I can assure you they are going to continue what we started and take the “ZTS Experience” to the next level.
Words can’t describe the experiences and memories I have in my heart from running ZTS for all these years. I’m most thankful for the friendships. Missoula – you have had my back since day one and I love you for that.
I will always be a Zoo Town Surfer.