Peter began kayaking on a climbing trip in Oregon in 1995. When friends went to rent a raft and ducky, Peter’s eye was caught by a red Perception Dancer in the river shop. He insisted on renting the kayak and then went to the public library down the street. He checked out the book “Kayak” by William Nealy and read it for the two hour drive to the Mckenzie River. After reading the rolling section three times he stopped at a lake for some practice. Then with his wife-to-be Kathy in the water reading the key points of the roll and watching the cartoon of the guy rolling in the book by flipping through the corner of the pages Peter got his first rolls in a very cold 10 minutes. The next day included lots of swims in class III but Peter was hooked. He wishes he would have taken a CW class but the way he learned makes a great campfire story.
Now climbing and almost all other activities have taken a backseat to paddling. Peter has an infectious enthusiasm to be in his boat. Peter has paddled every month of the year for the last 4 years outside on a river. One of his most anticipated paddling days of the year is New Years Day on the Shoshone section of the Colorado River.
Family paddling is a big part of his life as his daughter Abby began kayaking at 4 and is now spending many days on the river each year. “Seeing your kids enjoy something you love is one of the best rewards of parenthood” says Peter. The Holcombe Family just made it onto the Jackson Kayak Advocates Team, not as cutting edge paddlers but as roll models for young families having adventures in the outdoors, family-style.
Peter has been an ACA instructor since 2009. His goal instructing is to give students skills to enjoy all the great places kayaking can take you. He loves all aspects of paddling from play-boating in Lyons to creeking on Bailey and recently taking it standing up on a SUP.