What's "all that?" All That is April Zilg, a.k.a Vanilla Gorilla, a.k.a VanGor. She leaves this week to BRING IT at the big Paddle extravaganza in Utah, and shortly after will jet to India. Monday we're having a farewell paddle and breakfast. Then, we'll have to rely on spotty Facebook updates until she gets back. All of this makes me happy for April and sad for me and my paddle buddies. We have a pretty tight group of regulars (though we are always excited to add more to our ranks!). April is definitely the life of the party. She's also the most:

  • Kind
  • Adventurous
  • Unapologetic
  • Comfortable
  • Encouraging
  • Creative
  • Funny
  • Badass
  • Talented
  • Smart
  • Unassuming
  • Fearless
  • and Fun

person I've ever known. She's the fun paddler that leaves love notes on your car that say "After you're done paddling (exercising), come eat BIG BREAKFAST with us." She'll hoot and holler at you "YEAH! GO KATIE!" while she blows past on her way to conquer. She's fearless–jamming her first ever whitewater SUP race to win, with her Radio Chum hat duct taped to her helmet so she could not only win the race, but win the Radio Chum cover contest. She won't sell out to anyone. She teaches new paddlers and old hats alike. She never gives me crap if I have to sit down. She qualified for the WPA championships in Cabo, and will go there to take on the big names. Without being scared. She can do a headstand on her board. She's a real friend. We call her the Vanilla Gorilla because she is fair with bleach blond hair and freakishly long arms. She is an amazing paddler, and her extra six inches help. (ha ha!) She's also goofy and hilarious and fun as a barrel of monkeys. We're gonna miss her. She'd better come back. Or we'll come find her. April, don't forget to train for New York while you're gone. We'll be Facebook stalking you. Bon Voyage!

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