Aaron Small Kayaker Age, Career, Wiki, Biography

Aaron Small is a well-known American Kayaker whose specialty is the MK2 500m and MK1 500m sprint events. In the Pan American Games, he won a bronze medal in the Men’s Kayak Double 500m Sprint, and he qualified for the Olympics in Paris with this same performance.

Aaron Small qualifies for the Paris Olympics 2024

Aaron Small qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics in the Men’s Kayak Double 500m Sprint event. Small and partner Jonas Ecker secured an Olympics spot by finishing first at the 2024 Canoe Sprint Americas Continental Olympic Qualifier and Panam Championships in Sarasota.


Aaron and Jonas raced through heat one, finishing first to reach the finals, the last race of the day. Friends and families cheered loudly from shore for Aaron and Jonas as they paddled to the finish line first, claiming the Olympics spot.

“I’m kind of at a loss for words,””Yeah, we thought about that moment crossing the finish line and first so many times,” Small said. “We’re like… it actually happened, we’re pinching ourselves.”

said kayaker Aaron Small, who competed in the Men’s K2 500m.

How old is Aaron Small? and When was he born?

Aaron Small is 22 years old and was born July 11, 2001, in Seattle, Washington. His club is the Seattle Canoe and Kayak Club. Aaron enjoys skateboarding, running, and hiking. He is hard of hearing and knows American Sign Language. He attends the University of Washington and likes skate skiing, running, and hiking.

Aaron with his Friends Hiking
Image: Aaron with his Friends Hiking (Source: Aaron’s Instagram)

Besides athletics, Aaron worked on a college thesis researching Puget Sound pollution levels. He is also minoring in American Sign Language. Despite busy training and studies, Aaron coaches kids at a local club. He volunteers as a ski patroller and certified Emergency Medical Technician.

Small Started Kayaking at the age of 11

At age 11, Aaron started kayaking. His mom’s friend’s child did kayaking in school. This led Aaron to try kayaking at Green Lake with the Seattle club.

Like beginners, Aaron had trouble with an unstable kayak and fell in water a lot while paddling. But he enjoyed it and kept going, which opened opportunities. Over time, Aaron grew committed to the sport. At 16, he competed nationally. Training became regular. As he progressed to international events, he trained two to three times daily.

In 2018, Jake and Aaron got silver medals in junior K2 1000m and 200m races. Miles and Alex from Hawaii won senior 1000m and took second in 200m. Jake and Aaron made the junior event finals but just missed the podium with fourth-place finishes at the 2018 Sprint National Championships.

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In K-1 races, Aaron reached the semifinals in the 500m and 200m. Jake made the semifinals in 1000m. In K-2, Jake and Aaron made semifinals in 1000m but did not advance from heats in 200m. At the K-4, Aaron’s group made the semifinals in 500m but not the heats in 1000m at the Olympic Hopes Regatta in Poznan, Poland.

In 2019, Aaron Small (junior) and Miles Cross-Whiter (under-23) were selected for US National teams. In July, they trained with male kayakers in Lanier, Georgia. National canoers and female kayakers trained in Gig Harbor camp. Vaughn Schenk trained in Gig Harbor too. Aaron raced many events – K1 200m, K2 1000m, 200m, K4 500m. He reached the semifinals in K2 1000m and K4 500m at the US DownWind Championships.

Aaron has competed in various International Tournaments and Games

2021, Aaron got 3rd place in MK1 1000m, 3rd in MK1 500m, 4th in MK1 200m at U.S. Nationals. He also got 9th in MK2 1000m, and 14th in MK2 500m at the U23 World Championships. He set a new American record in U16 K2 1000m distance with a teammate at Olympic Hopes Regatta.

In 2022, Small and Jonas Ecker finished 7th in the MK2 500m race at the ICF Sprint World Championships in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This result raised hopes of qualifying for the Olympics, though later realized limited attendance inflated their finish that non-Olympic year.

The kayaker was in their final college year, researching Puget Sound pollution for their senior thesis and completing an American Sign Language minor.

In 2023, Aaron (now Juniors Head Coach) competed at World Cup 1 in Szeged, Hungary in K1 500m and K2 500m with Jonas. In K1 500m, he made the semifinals by placing 3rd in heat, then made Final C finishing 6th. At K2, they made the semifinals with 3rd in the heat but did not advance further. In a crazy K1 5000m race with 4 portages, Small finished 22nd.

At the 2024 ACA Sprint Nationals near Sacramento, Jonas Ecker and Small had three top finishes, getting closer to Paris 2024 Olympics qualifying. Ecker could qualify in individual events plus events with Small.

At the 2023 ICF World Championships in Duisburg, Germany, they finished 15th in the MK2 500m. Ecker also got 23rd in solo MK1 1000m. Though not enough for the Olympics, it was an important step in their journey.

With national trial wins, Ecker and Small advanced to the 2024 Americas Olympic Qualifier in Sarasota, Florida April 23-25 – their final chance to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics, making it a crucial competition.