Charlie Walbridge

Charlie’s legacy is one of safety. Which is ironic, considering his first encounter with the Upper Yough became the river’s most famous carnage story.

Aside the Upper Yough, he was highly ranked as a slalom and downriver racer through the late 60’s and 70’s. But his contribution to the sport is seen more in the gear you wear. He developed the HiFloat lifevest and pioneered the throwbags we use today. And of course, he maintains the AW Safety Database, the go-to resource on paddler safety and river accidents. And he is still a definitive resource when dealing with landowner and river access issues in the West Virginia area.

Today, you can still find him on the Upper Yough, navigating the same boulders and making the same moves as he has for over forty years.