Blackadar Boating, a family-owned business, was founded in the 1960s by the late Dr. Walt Blackadar in his garage. After his passing in 1978, the business was taken over by his daughter, Nan, and her husband, John Bryant. Today, the family continues to operate Blackadar Boating, with their son Jerry and daughter Marti.
Dr. Walt Blackadar became known as a kayaking pioneer/explorer in 1971 when he paddled Turn Back Canyon on the Alsek River in British Columbia. A Sports Illustrated article featuring this solo run soon followed.
"Every so often in a sport, an individual comes along and changes things forever. In whitewater sport that person is Walt Blackadar. Walt's solo descent on the formidable Turn Back Canyon on the Alsek River in 1971 was so far ahead of its time that it is not only significant in terms of whitewater history, but it is significant in the history of adventure and exploration. Symbolically the Alsek assumes a historical place, a beginning of a new age of the sport built around the powerful story about on 49 year old individual with a bold dream. The psychological barrier had been broken, and a new array of opportunities was possible." (Ron Watters, Never Turn Back, Pocatello, Idaho: The Great Rift Press, 1994)
Walt was inducted into the International Whitewater Hall of Fame in 2007 and the American Canoe Association Paddlesports Hall of Fame in 2011.