RIP Kyle Stidham


Last Sunday Kyle Stidham from Alabama died in a log entrapment in the Awesome Gorge section of the Kaituna. I had the pleasure of paddling with Kyle a couple of times on the Okere Falls top section of the kaituna - once a few weeks back and on Thursday last week. Although I did not know Kyle well apart from paddling with him on these two occasions, it was apparent that he was a great guy and a fine paddler. My heart goes out to his family, and those who knew him and had paddled with him regularly here in NZ or anywhere else.
If anyone who knew Kyle knows how I might be able to send condolences to his family feel free to reply to this posting.

Cheers and be safe.

lisa0's picture

Clint, Jenny, Quintin, and Johnny Rivers,
I have tried to obtain your email for quiet sometime, to no avail. I found the posting on the NZRCA forum today. I'm so thankful that you found what I wrote, and responded. Thank you both so much for allowing Kyle to live with you all. You allowed him to live the past few months of his life in the paradise of New Zealand. He loved it. You all were so kind to us also. Kyle often emailed or called and told me about the wonderful meals that Jenny would cook. I pray blessings on your entire family for being so kind and generous to Kyle. He loved Quintin. He would email me about playing with Quintin. Thank you for allowing Kyle the opportunity to experience the joy of a little son. He would have been a great daddy, wouldn't he? Thanks for getting him the job on the farm. That was a great experience, and also allowed him the funds to kayak in NZ.
We are really having sad days. It is almost impossible to put our feet on the floor each morning. Nothing feels right. Time doesn't matter. It seems we are just in a fog. I don't think clearly, and forget things that I needed to remember.
Some folks have put together a "Kyle Stidham Memorial Run" on the Ocoee on October 6th, Kyle's birthday. That is this Saturday. We plan to go up there to see what it is all about. Daniel and some of his other friends said that it may be a big event, or it may be just a few. However, it has been on the internet, so there's no way to tell what kind of turnout there'll be.

Also, on November 9, 2007 there is going to be some kind of kayaking deal at Buffalo Wild Wings in Trussville, Alabama. It is posted on the internet also. We just found out about it by accident. One web site about it is:
If you have anymore stories about him, I would love to hear them.
Hope to keep in touch with you all.Congratulations on Johnny Rivers birth. our email is
God Bless,

DC's picture

Hello Lisa

Its Clint and Jenny and Quintin and Little Johnny Rivers here. Donald showed we what you posted on this site and its very lovely. I couldnt agree with you more about him living that adremiline rush throughout eternity. You and geoff are in my thoughts daily and theres nothing about this place anymore that doesnt remind me of kyle. The rivers, my home, his old room, our job, even quintin echos kyles memory. I still play games with Quintin that Kyle invented. He was so amazing with Quintin, he also look forward to meeting rivers. THat was the other side of kyle that i got to know wheen he came over here. Until then I only knew him as the strong confident paddler that on numerous occasions had pushed my own confidense to run things I would have otherwise doubted. His energy was contagious. THe funniest part is you usually wouldnt get three words off him until the take out but that smile said it all.

So many kyle stories come to mind but heres a funny one, kyle adam K. and I drove up to little river canyon to take kyle down the LRC for the first time. A three hour drive and were gettin pumped up the whole way, the upper was to high so we ran the middle and lower at a hirh flow. We get there and start to gear up and realize adam had left his spray skirt at home. We were crushed until another group pulled up we asked them if they had another skirt and it turned out they were locals we had meet befor and they were also sort one skirt, well kyle in a moment of brillence blurts out can we borrow one of theres befor they could return the semtiment. You could tell they were wishing they had asked the same thing first but relectuntly went and gave us the skirt and made up some rubish about it being too cold, and they went home. We had a great run Kyle nailed his boof at roadblock and ran a new line at humpty dumpty that I didnt think he could pull off, but he did. He was in a little kingpin play boat, while we were all in creekers and he made it look easy. Typical 'Studman' fashion.

All of thoose memories are so cherrished now, some of my greatest memories he was there Tuck too. Anything I ever accomplished boatin was largly in part to thoose two. THe three amigos are down to two But I know hes right there with us. He will all ways be connected to the water, every drop.

In loving memory
THe Walls's picture

As far as what kind of paddler he was, I don't know. I do know he was a great guy, and my only son. I have just now been able to surf the internet and read about Kyle. Thank all of you for saying such nice things about him. I know he had friends worldwide that I never knew. His advendtrous free-spirit led him to many places. I would really like to hear from anyone who knew him, and hear stories about him. I cannot describe the pain that I'm going through. His dad and sister are also grieving tremendously. God's grace will be suficient. It also seems to help me to get through these dark days when I hear from people who knew him and paddled with him. Paddling was in his blood, and he loved life in every aspect. Kyle would call, or write me and tell me about the beauty of God's creation that could only be accessed by a kayak. He knew the dangers, but the thrill far outweighed the fear. I also knew it was dangerous, but I tried not to discourage him because I knew he lived and breathed whitewater. He wrote a letter to me indicating the dreaded thought of having to settle down to an everyday drudge. He said, "I guess I will return, settle down, and do what society expects of me." God spared him of that dread. He took him doing his favorite thing. The adrenalin rush (that I know only you whitewater paddlers can relate to) that he was getting as he went through Awesome Gorge ,will never cease. God has given me complete peace as to where Kyle is now. We can't imagine what he is doing up There. I just tend to believe he is having a blast. I do know the Bible says that there is water up There (The River of Life, and the Crystal Sea). I'll bet that is some kind of water. He went from the Awesome Gorge on the Kaituna in New Zealand to the Awesome River of Life in Heaven.
Kyle's mom
Lisa Stidham
501 E.E. Kelly Road
Detroit, AL 35552

susan.cordell's picture

Kyle's family's address is:
Lisa, Jeff and Ashley Stidham
501 EE Kelly Road
Detroit, AL 35552

phil's picture

Thanks Donald. appreciate it.

kayakshop's picture

Hi Phil,
Tuck is flying home today with Kyle they are taking him home to his parents place for the funeral.
You can send any messages to tuck on the following e mail address and he will pass them on to the family.