Jay Mayan: Whitewater kayaker

Jay Mahan on the Raven Fork. Shannon Christy photo.

Apart from the papers, the reading assignments, and stuffy classrooms, 22-year-old Jay Mahan escapes the studies of Entrepreneurship to paddle the waters of Western NC.

Mahan’s life completely changed a year and a half ago when he first paddled a kayak. Now he has been pushing the limits ever since.

A solid Class V boater, Mahan, gets his dose of adrenaline running rivers such as the Raven Fork, Horsepasture, and the West Prong where the rapids have nasty consequences if it is not done correctly.

Mahan dropping off Baby Falls, Tellico River. Shannon Christy photo.

With pushing the limits sometimes come consequences. Recently Mahan busted two of his front teeth out and chipped another after flipping on the Raven Fork.

“My parents weren’t thrilled about the dentist bill,” remarked Mahan after replacing the gap with temporary teeth.

Originally from Charlotte, WCU was Mahan’s choice for education and recreation. He loves the mountains so much even his summer job keeps him in Appalachia.  After working as a guide on the Pigeon River he now works in West Virginia on the New River and Gauley River.

Mahan seal launching into the Class V, Green River. Shannon Christy photo.

“I work as a video boater,” said Mahan. “I film customers rafting Class IV-V rapids and kayak all day; it’s the best job ever.”

If you see Mahan around campus be sure and ask him about his kayaking adventures and the exciting life he lives.

Below is a short video of Mahan running some local creeks and rivers.