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2023 Dirty Bird Recap blog post - Nikki Malatin

Recap – Dirty Bird 2023

I am not entirely sure how many years this event has been taking place but every year seems to be one of the most fun days on the river of the year for me. This year was no different. 15 women took to the pigeon river in TN to partake in an annual event that raised money for the Live Like Maria Foundation.

This year we raised more money than any other year raising just over $1,000! Our sponsors this year came in strong and a huge shout out to Pyranha Kayaks, Jackson Kayak, Watershed Drybags, NOC, Kokatat, Foothills Gear Garage, New Belgium Brewery, and Fonta Flora Brewery. We couldn’t do this event without you!

A big thanks also to Wesley Bradley for not only bringing the JAW and having Jackson Kayak demos available to everyone but also helping to support and be a swimmer during our throw rope comp.

Thank you to all the rad women that came and shared all the smiles and laughs both on and off the water and helped raised money for a great cause. Jen and Maria would be proud of us 🙂

All the media you see is from the amazing Rob Giersch. He donated his time to help capture the day.


I started kayaking in Wisconsin of all places, because this is where I am from. I then moved to San Diego and took on kayak surfing along with heading to the Kern River when water was available. I then made the move to Asheville, NC and have been hooked on this sport since my Wisconsin days. With whatever it is that you do, do it because you love it, not because society tells you should or for other outside factors. Don't simply exist, live!