Paul Kuthe


Paul Kuthe, started his paddling career as many before him have; Cruising down the river with his father in a Grumman Canoe. It didn’t take long before he and his Dad discovered kayaks. Realizing he was losing his bow partner, Paul’s father never looked back and bought two Perception Dancers.  They took their first whitewater class, and for the next couple years, paddled the Class III and IV rivers both in their home state of Missouri and all over the East. As a kid, Paul always felt an equal on the water, crediting paddling with bolstering motivation, self-esteem, and maturity all while keeping him too busy to cause much trouble. 

Tragically, at the tender age of 12, Paul lost his father to a heart attack on the Arkansas River in Colorado. Teaching kayak classes and going on trips with the Missouri Whitewater Association became both a necessary outlet for teen angst and an amazing opportunity to start a professional coaching career at an uncommonly young age. 

Paul came to Alder Creek in 2004 at age 20 as an ACA certified whitewater instructor and worked his way up to the busy job of Program Director.  Soon after moving to Oregon he was making appearances in numerous film projects taking him to the very brink of what can be done in a sea kayak for National Geographic. He was asked back time after time as a guest coach at the top international symposiums in the years to follow.  Paul served as a Marine Technical Advisor to Paramount Pictures and made appearances in national television ad campaigns for companies like Keen Footwear and Tampax.  He even worked a day on the set of the popular TV show ‘Portlandia’ personally coaching actor Fred Armisen and serving as an expert consultant.  Despite the long list of accomplishments, Paul’s most proud of his volunteer efforts spent cleaning his local rivers and fighting for access to clean water, even gracing the pages of the NY Times in defense of free flowing rivers. 

It was during those adventures that he learned the importance of coaching, commitment, and operating in the moment with intense focus and determination while simultaneously managing fear and self-doubt. The natural world, like the business world, can be one of life’s greatest teachers if you ‘attend class’ on a regular basis.

Paul, now a proud father of two boys, spends many of his paddling days on quieter waters handing down the skills and life lessons paddling brought him as a boy.  He still enjoys dropping tall waterfalls and surfing through deep sea caves and coaching paddlers on the water is something he will always do.  Now days… he gets to do it mostly for fun!

Paul launched his own performance coaching organization called Tributary Coaching LLC to bring his knowledge, coaching skills and techniques of elite level athletes to the business world creating positive change in the lives of professionals striving for the same sort of success and happiness.

Paul is a TetraKey qualified Lead Trainer and Performance Coach with over two decades of coaching and training experience.  For more information email