Brad Ludden Bio: Kayaking & Net Worth

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Brad Ludden is a professional American kayaker. He started kayaking internationally at the early age of twelve. He loves traveling and has been to more than 40 countries to date. 

Likewise, Brad is also a philanthropist. With his non-profit organization, First Descents, he has been doing incredible work. He was acknowledged for his work in 2016. As a result, he was awarded the Top 10 CNN Hero 2016. 

Further, Brad also owns a company called Stoke Broker. It is a cause corporation established to support his non-profit, First Descents.

Stoke Broker creates ultra-customized, wildly fun adventures for travel lovers. 

Brad Ludden
Brad Ludden (Source: Facebook)

In this article, we will discuss Brad Ludden and his contributions to the regime of Kayak. Further, we will also talk about his philanthropic efforts.

Before taking a glance at this legendary figure’s personal and professional life, let us sneak a peek into the quick facts about him.

Quick Facts

Full Name Brad Ludden
Nick Name Daril, Bud, B, Biff
Birth Date May 8, 1981
Birth Place Sheridan, Wyoming
Residence Gypsum, Colorado
Nationality American
Education Flat Head High School
Hobbies Adventure, Travel
Sexual Orientation Straight
Tattoos None
Awards Top 10 CNN Hero 2010
Zodiac Sign Taurus
Father’s Name Chuck Ludden
Mother’s Name Jinny Ludden
Siblings None
Age 42 years old
Hair Color Light Brown
Eye Color Green
Height 5 feet 11 inches
Weight 86 kg (190 lbs)
Profession Professional Kayaker
Founder of  First Descents, Stoke Broker
Marital Status Not Married
Girlfriend Not Known
First International At 12 years old
Active Years 1993 – Present
  •  x Freestyle Athlete of the year       
  • Japan Open 1998    
  •  Lofer Rodeo Austria 2000
Represents America
Social Media TwitterFacebook, Instagram
Salary Under Review
Net Worth $1 million -$5 million
Merch First Descents: In Search of Wild Rivers (Paperback)
Last Update April 2024

Brad Ludden: Early Life and Family

On May 8, 1981, Brad Ludden was born in Sheridan, USA. His father’s name is Chuck Ludden, whereas his mother’s name is Jinny Ludden. He does not have any siblings. 

Brad was only nine years old when he first started kayaking. Soon, kayaking became his favorite thing on earth. He got passionate about it and dreamt of pursuing kayaking as a career. 

When Brad turned 13, his parents sent him on a week trip to Colorado for kayaking. He had seven other boys with him, all of his age. He had a wonderful time there. 

Brad Ludden Decides to Travel the World

When Brad returned from the trip, he sat down with his parents for a talk. Considering that Brad was coming of age, his parents also gave him his first drink; beer. According to Brad, “the Beer was awesome and tasted awful at the time.”

During his talk with his parents, his parents reminded him that he was an adult now. Further, they told him that he could make any decisions in his life.

In addition, he would also have to bear the responsibility for his decision. In other words, Brad’s parents set him free to become independent at the early age of 13. 

Brad Ludden Childhood
Young Brad Ludden (Source: Instagram)

To their parents ‘ surprise, Brad said that he wanted to become a professional kayaker. He further added that he wanted to drop out of the regular high school and join a kayak academy. 

Brad’s parents were not fully satisfied with his answer. However, they did not stop him. As a result, Brad left home at 13 and started traveling worldwide. He also joined the kayak academy and dropped out of regular high school. 

Additionally, Brad became Nike’s first sponsored whitewater kayaker at eighteen. He, in a true sense, lived his dream. 

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Brad Ludden: Kayaking Career

Brad loved being in the water. He loved paddling and simply enjoying the flow of water. As a result, he had a successful kayaking career. 

Brad is rewarded with many titles and awards for kayaking. He placed third in the Cadet Division at the JR Nationals in 1994. Further, Ludden also placed third in the 1997 JR World Freestyle Championships. 

Likewise, the kayaker successfully secured 1st Place in the 1998 Japan Open. Further, in the same year, he secured the third position in the European Open. 

In 1999, Brad became the JR National Freestyle Champion. Additionally, he was also the x Freestyle Athlete of the year. 

In 1999, The American kayaker also stood second in the JR World Freestyle Championships. Furthermore, in 2000 Brad won 1st Place in the Lofer Rodeo Australia. Between 2001 and 2008, he also won many Teva Mountain Games medals.

Brad Ludden: Hottest Bachelor

In 2008, Brad Ludden was named the ‘Hottest Bachelor of 2008’ by Cosmopolitan Magazine. The result was announced at a ceremony that was held at Mansion, which is a nightclub in New York City. 

There were altogether 50 nominees for the title. Brad had not anticipated that he would be crowned with the title and was shocked when the results were announced. He exclaims that the happening was very surreal.

Brad Ludden Hottest Bachelor
Brad Ludden with Kate White, Editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan Magazine (Source: 

Along with the title of being the hottest bachelor of the year, Brad also got the prize of $10,000. He contributed all his prize money to the non-profit organization First Descents. 

The main reason that Cosmopolitan magazine picked Brad Ludden was because of his charitable pursuits, his passion for life, and his great looks. 

First Descents

Brad Ludden is a founder of a non-profit organization called First Descents. First Descent is a non-profit that specializes in outdoor experiential programming.

The non-profit focuses on increasing the long-term survivability of young adults affected by cancer and other significant health problems via outdoor experiences, skill development, and local adventure groups.

The participants of the First Descents program engage in free outdoor adventure programs like climbing, paddling, surfing, etc., and reclaim their life.

The program helps the participants forget about their disease. Instead, they enjoy nature and connect with people.  

Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, and other major health issues provide particular challenges and hurdles to young individuals. Therefore, First Descents focuses on young adults while delivering its program.

Cancer is the greatest cause of mortality among teenagers and young adults (AYAs). Likewise, Young adults are the fastest-growing and most neglected oncology age cohort, with around 87,000 new diagnoses per year.

Furthermore, Multiple Sclerosis is the most frequent neuroinflammatory illness affecting young adults.

Interestingly, Brad also initiated a blog called Athletes Giving, where he prioritizes athletes involved with the charity.

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How and Why did Brad Ludden start First Descents?

When Brad Ludden was in his early teenage years, his aunt was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. At that time, his aunt was only 38. 

Witnessing his aunt’s battle with cancer firsthand, cancer had become very personal to him and his family. 

At the age of 18, Brad thought about what he wanted to achieve in life. While he had already traveled to many countries and achieved several feats, he still felt that something was missing. 

According to Brad, what he did was quite self-centered. In sports, you are the product, and you are the seller. There is no space for others.

First Descent participant
Katie “Emoji” Doble, a First Descents Participant (Source: Instagram)

So, he wanted to do something for others and make an impact. After thinking about this issue a lot, he decided on establishing a non-profit and, at the same time link it with his passion. 

So, in 2001, when he was eighteen, Brad Ludden founded the First Descents. The State of Colorado initially aided his initiative. 

Brad Ludden: Age and Body Measurements 

Brad Ludden is a 1981 kid, which means he is currently 42.

As per the Chinese calendar, he was born in the Rooster year. 

Also, his sun sign is Taurus. And sapiens of this zodiac sign are known to be generous, extremely focused, patient, and loyal.

Considering the fact that Brad is also a philanthropist, we can say that he is indeed very generous. Further, patience and focus is the key attribute of any sportsperson. 

Likewise, Brad is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs about 86 kg. As a sports person, he has an athletic build. Further, he has a very charming face.

To bring up his other features, John has short light brown hair and brown eyes. Also, his skin complexion is fair. He does not have any tattoos on his body.

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Brad Ludden: Social Media

Brad Ludden is a role model to many. Also, many people follow him simply because of his undying passion for discovering nature and adventure.

Further, many people admire him for his social deeds. Brad interacts with his fans and followers through his social media platform.

The Whitewater Kayaker can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. He has over 4.8k friends on his Facebook page as of 2022.

Likewise, he has 1,034 followers on his Twitter. Brad follows famous personalities like Kamala Harris, Elon Musk, and Mike Bloomberg. 

However, his Instagram account is set to private. More than 3.4k people follow Brad on Instagram. Further, his Instagram bio describes him as a ‘Pro Kayaker, Amateur Aviator, Diehard Dirtbag.’

If you wish to learn more about the whitewater kayaker’s lifestyle, adventures, and philanthropic works, follow him on his social media pages.

In addition to his social media handles, First Descents and Stoke Builder pages can also be found on Instagram. We will leave the link to those pages below. 

First Descents:  @first_descents

Stoke Builder: @stoke_broker

Brad Ludden: Net Worth

We’re sure that it is not a matter of surprise to anyone if we tell that Brad Ludden has a net worth of millions. 

The kayaker has made a massive amount of money for himself through his overwhelming career. 

The Total net worth of the professional kayaker and philantropist is estimated to be around $18 million.

Brad makes the most of his net worth through kayaking. Many companies sponsor him for the sport. 

For instance, Brad has signed deals with various companies such as Dagger Kayaks, Nike, AT Paddles, Smith Optics, Training Day, Subaru, and Kokatat. 

Likewise, In 2010, Brad Ludden also appeared in a short documentary named The River Ward. Not only did Brad appear in the movie, but he was also involved in making the documentary as the assistant editor.

Further, in the same year, Brad  made another TV appearance in a TV Series called ‘Last Call with Carson Daly.’

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Brad Ludden’s favorite places to paddle?

Among all the places that Brad Ludden has paddled, he says that his ultimate favorite among them all is the Lochsa River in Idaho and Madagascar. 

What are Brad Ludden’s favorite Rapids?

Brad Ludden loves Madagascar. The Place holds many of his favorites. His favorite rapids are Heaven and Hell on the Ikopa River in Madagascar. 

Who is Brad Ludden’s wife?

The handsome kayaker, Brad Ludden, is not married. He spends most of his time in the water and trying out various adventures. Well, we are not aware of his girlfriend and affairs as well.


Aayusha Bhattarai

Aayusha Bhattarai is a dedicated writer with a passion for uncovering the fascinating stories behind athletes' lives. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for storytelling, she brings readers on a journey through the triumphs, struggles, and inspirations of their favorite players.


Athlete Profiles Net Worth


  • Aayusha explores the off-field lives of athletes, from their hobbies and interests to their family dynamics.
  • She keeps readers informed with the latest news and developments in the world of sports.


Aayusha's passion for sports journalism stems from her love of both writing and athletics. With a background in journalism and a keen interest in sports, she combines her talents to deliver compelling stories that resonate with readers.

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