Steve Fisher

Professional kayaker

“Hi, my name is Steve Fisher. My discipline is kayak expedition and white water rafting. My friends call me Fisher. I was born on 18 February 1976 in Estcourt, South Africa. My special talent is conquering the Inga rapids. My philosophy of life is “sharing challenges and accomplishments with friends is the best part of what I do. The most important person in my life is my wife.”

Steve Fisher is a man that boldly goes where no man has gone before – in a kayak, that is. Sometimes a man and a mode of transport are simply made for each other, and such is the case with Steve Fisher and the kayak. Since he started paddling at the age of 6 on the Bushmans River near his rural hometown of Estcourt, South Africa, he’s hit the rapids in nearly 50 countries, conquering twice that many first descents. No wonder top pro kayakers have three times voted Steve the world’s best all-rounder.

Since transitioning several years ago from the contest scene to exploring the most breathtaking rapids he can find, Steve’s boldest first descent expeditions include the Irrawaddy in Burma, the Salween in China, the Yarlung TsangPo in Tibet (home of the world’s deepest gorge), and his recent conquest of the fierce and infamous Inga Rapids. “The holy grail is a source to sea journey on the Congo river, 4,000 kilometers down to the Atlantic,” he says.

“There’s a lot of fear from media and sponsors that I’ll get killed. I risk that quite often, but to them it’s different if you get shot. The outcome is more or less the same in my mind.” It takes a measure of bravado to speak such words, but Steve comes by his honestly. His approach to overcoming gnarly conditions is confidence, decisiveness, and speed.