Tom Johnson | USA

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Tom was the first kayak designer to make the leap from fiberglass to plastic with the River Chaser manufactured by Hollowform.

His River Chaser design, the first rotationally molded plastic whitewater kayak, was responsible for the growth of plastic kayaks into all paddlesport markets today.

Tom has also been an advocate and supporter for slalom for more than forty years both locally and nationally. He continues to paddle and instructs on occasion while remaining involved in the Kernville whitewater racing community.

Advocate Accomplishments:
• Credited with building the first fiberglass canoe (1942)
• Designed numerous canoes, kayaks, paddles and other paddling gear for the whitewater industry (1940s through 1980s)
• ACA Commodore (1968-1969) and ACA Pacific Division Vice Commodore (1962-1967)
• Assistant Coach: 1969 World Championships
• Created Olympic training center on Kern River where 8 of 13 U.S. team members trained (1972)
• Manager Coach for ‘72 Olympic team
• Designed first roto-molded plastic kayak, the “River Chaser” (1974)
• Designed numerous canoes, kayaks, paddles and other paddling gear for the whitewater industry (1940s through 1980s)

Other Accomplishments:
• National K-1 Wildwater Champion (1967)
• National OC-2 Champion (1972)
• National C-2 Masters Slalom Champion (1980)