Lisa Egan

Lisa Egan

Age: (wicked old: 56)

Birthplace: New York, NY (a helluva town)

Residence: Brattleboro, Vermont

Occupation: Human Resources Manager (when I actually do work)

Years Paddling: Started seriously in 1992, OC-1, then switched to “the other side” in 1994. So 19 years in hardboats.

Paddles: different K-1’s: Play, slalom, creek, and K-2, and some other odd assorted ones.

Favorite Paddling Spot: “The Rock River may be my favorite, but really wherever I am at the moment, then THAT’s my favorite.”

Memorable Paddling Experience: “Costa Rica last year – a beautiful country, with amazing birds that I watched instead of where I was paddling (in some rapids where I really SHOULD have been watching where I was going).”

Off Water Pastime: Are there other things off the water??? OK, then snowshoeing, scouting rivers and chainsawing out creeks, playing with my own personal zoo of critters, and hangin’ with my river buds!

Comment / Advice: “Every river has something special about it, so enjoy! The river is only part of the experience, the rest is the people you boat with! And the one so many of my buddies hear when I’m leading them down something new: ‘Follow me, unless I screw up – then go somewhere else!’ “

Dryway Ambassador

By: Denise Dieli

I met Lisa two years ago, on the river, and have been paddling with her ever since. A large part of Lisa’s life is about boating, rivers, river festivals, slalom boating, slalom racing, long boats, short boats, medium boats, and of course the Dryway.

Lisa enjoys passing on what she has learned about boating. She’s always on the look out for new slalom recruits. If you don’t have a slalom boat she’ll let you try one of hers, then she’ll help you find one to buy. Once you have a slalom boat, you can always count on Lisa to teach you different slalom techniques. Lisa has introduced myself and several others to the slalom racing circuit, New England Slalom Series (NESS).

Lisa also owns a lot of boats. Lisa has been generous with letting friends demo her boats. Last summer she sold a bunch of boats, before that I believe she may have had 17 boats. She does paddle five of her boats regularly. Last summer we went to MKC and brought four boats each, eight boats on one van. Be warned, it’s contagious to buy boats when you hang with Lisa. She also likes purple. If you see someone coming down the river in purple gear and in a purple boat, it’s probably Lisa.

Next is the Dryway, Deerfield River in Massachusetts. Lisa really enjoys paddling the Dryway. If the Dryway has a release Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, she’ll be there. The Dryway has scheduled releases all summer long. I have a feeling Lisa likes it when it doesn’t rain all summer so that everyone will paddle the Dryway. Lisa has taken me, and many other paddlers down the Dryway for the first time. She set it up for me to paddle my first trip on the Dryway in her Tandem Topo Duo with Big Wave Dave, then to do a second run the same day in my solo boat. She really does show the newbies the easier lines. If she says, “you can do this”, you believe her. I’m not sure what she prefers: two runs on the Dryway, or one run on the Dryway, and the second run on the Fife Brook in Slalom boats?

If there’s a River Festival, Lisa is often ready to go. She also teaches portaging is OK. Do what you can, carry when you need to.

Lisa enjoys paddling, teaching others, and the social part that boating brings.

River Coach

By: David Goff

Lisa Egan is gifted both as a paddler and a patient instructor. Lisa has coached more newbies down torrid rapids than any other paddler I can recall. Most whitewater paddlers are searching for a thrill – but that thrill seeking does come with a desire to come out of the water in one piece.

Lisa has excelled at guiding and coaching new paddlers down adventurous rivers – allowing a positive experience that returns us all to the river. While other paddlers will just zip down a rapid and set up a throw line to save those from the carnage, Lisa’s extensive skill and knowledge of rapids and rivers allows any newbie to successfully find the perfect line.

Smiling Face

By: Chris Rolt

I paddled a fair amount with Lisa this past year. Lisa is one of the smiling faces that you see at the put in & takeout. She’s always willing to cram her van full of boaters on a shuttle. Lisa is always happy to show new people down the Dryway, and also more difficult lines as they progress. She is also quick to offer up a boat for someone to try out, or a spare paddle to borrow.

I’ve been on the river with her when she injured herself, and she smiling at the put in the next weekend.

I look forward to spending more time on the river with Lisa and folks like her.

Lisa Egan, Katrina Van Wijk, Denise Dieli

Winter Slalom Training – Denise Dieli, Lisa Egan (photo: Jeff Magee)

Nomination and article content by:
Denise Dieli a.k.a. dend
David Goff
Chris Rolt a.k.a. cgr
Chuck Still a.k.a. ChuckS

NPMB encourages you to contribute your thoughts about this Paddler Spotlight by adding a comment below:


  1. Bill archambeault

    Way to go Lisa, I`ll be looking for ya at the dryway put in this spring!

  2. Congratulations, Lisa! Lisa has introduced me to several new rivers and many new paddlers. She gently pushes me beyond my comfort zone, and has helped improve both my skill and confidence. She is truly an ambassador of the sport!

  3. I first met Lisa in (I believe) 2004 on a cold, snowy day for a run on Ball Mountain Brook. Ever since that day she has shown more grit and determination of any boater I’ve met. Giving up does not appear to be in her vocabulary. Injured, cold, whatever, she’s still there with a huge grin on her face, willing to try again, or pass on what’s she’s learned to up and coming paddlers.

    This chick is tough. We spent a weekend on the Beaver one year. Lisa was talking about some thumb pain. I think it turned out to be a broken bone in her arm. Most people would have packed it in and went home. She stuck it out and we all had a great weekend.

    I look forward to seeing you on the river this year Lisa.

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