Adam was born on December 28th, 1972 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The second of three sons, Adam struggled to find his niche in the world until we travelled to Wesser, North Carolina in 1981 for a summer at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. A summer that would last for 17 summers. Adam tried his hand at kayaking and didn’t take to it as I’d hoped. He preferred instead to take an old inner tube tied across the middle with rope, and a canoe paddle and putz about at the NOC takeout for hours. A staff member took pity on him and put him in a C1. He was 9 years old at the time and his passion for racing was sealed.
In 1996, after winning the World Cup in Brazil, Adam hung up his paddle and started his second love, making things out of wood and metal. Welding was his preferred method and he excelled at it.
Adam was an extraordinary man who touched the lives of everyone he knew. He was kind, loving and generous to a fault, always willing to help someone in need. With his passing on July 10, 2017, Adam is mourned by the paddling community, the Swain County community, his mother, Maggie Parkes, stepfather Fred Crawford, brothers Matt and Jonathon Clawson, father Dan Clawson, his extended family, and the love of his life, his daughter Amala Clawson.
All are welcome to a memorial service in his honour to be held at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in Wesser, NC on the afternoon of Sunday, October 8th. If you’d like to share a story, a photograph, or light a candle for Adam, his online tribute site is adam.clawson.muchloved.com