Jim Snyder | USA

JIm Snyder - IWHOF

Year Inducted: 2006
Category: Pioneer
Years Active: 1970-Present


For over forty years, Jim Snyder has never hesitated to create his own “charc,” building boats and paddles that barely resemble whatever the rest of the whitewater world is currentlyusing~ but might be someday….
Jim was an early squirt boat designer- along with Jess Whittemore, and the performance standards set by squirt boats started the performance revolution of modern day freestyle kayaks.

Pioneer Accomplishments:

  • Designer and builder of custom wooden canoe and kayak paddles (1975 to present)
  • Early advocate of low feather paddles
  • Designer and builder of more than 70 kayak designs (1979 to present)
  • Designed the first commercially produced “short” whitewater kayak in the US (The Slice – 1980)
  • One of the pioneers, along with Jess Whittemore, of the short boat revolution of squirtboating ~ creating dozens of designs (1981 to present)
  • Predominant squirt boat designer and key participant in the development of the “mystery move”
  • The first to perform a flatwater cartwheel tossing over a dozen ends (1983)

Other Accomplishments:
• Slalom competitor: Middle States Junior Champion (1970)
• Extreme race competitor: Upper Yough Race
• Steep creek explorer with numerous first descents in the West Virginia area ~ Quarry Run (686 fpm ~ 1977) and Elzey Run (500 fpm 1980)