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About David Norell

About David Norell

David Norell Memorial Funds

Keep the Revolution going! If you'd like to make a donation in David's name please send a check to either or both of the following organizations:

Idaho Rivers United
David Norell Memorial Fund

2600 Rose Hill
Boise ID 83705

David Norell Memorial Fund

1050 W. State Street
Boise ID 83702

This Website is dedicated to the Memory of David Norell

On April 24th, 2004 David collapsed near the 8 mile marker of Bogus Basin road while competing in the bicycling portion of the Pole, Pedal Paddle marathon in his hometown of Boise, Idaho. It was later revealed that he died of an undiagnosed congenital heart defect. A more detailed story about his heart condition can be found here.

He began kayaking at age 14 and it quickly became his life's passion. David was the lead videographer, director, editor, kayaker and visionary for both of the Revolution videos. Some of his footage appeared on Fox Network's "You Gotta See This" and on Spike TV (07). He appeared in one of the Twitch series videos. He wrote for several kayaking magazines, and appeared on the covers of Rapid Magazine (Spring 04) and Kayak Session (Summer 03). He kayaked in Costa Rica, the Philippines, Canada and all over the U.S. In addition he was the week end news editor for the local NBC affiliate.

David's mom, Rae Ann Norell, and Dad, Mike Norell, and his sister, Amy, would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to all of his friends in the kayaking and other communities in their time of deepest sorrow. David was a creative, talented, sometimes "crazy" and wonderful young man. "David, you left us too young, but you lived your life doing what you loved. We will always remember you and we miss you deeply."

We miss you David!!

David's BIO for The Revolution

May 22, 1979, born in Boise Idaho

3 weeks old
Doctor’s discovered heart murmur, x-rayed and said it was a “benign(harmless) heart murmur, no sports restrictions—just EKG’s every 3 years that all turned out normal

Sports and activities

Involved in age 3-18: gymnastics, baseball, soccer, skateboarding, Boy scouts,(age 9-11) football (age 9-12), BMX biking, kick boxing, karate, Kiwanis boys choir (4th grade), a short stint on trumpet, and guitar, ROTC in 9th grade (David loved uniforms of any kind when he was young) some hunting with dad, wrestling (lettered in freshman year), skiing, snowboarding, break-dancing, mountain biking(age 24) ; age 14-24 kayaking, kayaking, kayaking! (18-24: bungee jumping, sky diving, caving, 4-wheeling)

1994 - fainted while running in PE—medical testing, doctor’s missed a serious heart defect
1997 - graduated from Capitol High School
1998 - “rode the rails” with Tyler Smith
1998 - attended Ft. Lewis College, Durango CO for 1 semester
met friend, fellow kayaker and later David’s web designer, Skip Armstrong
Dec 1998 - decided to pursue a career in kayaking, rather than continue college
1998 - First try at a kayaking video “Gardena Derby” (Dan Menten)
1999 - bought first video camera and first good media exposure
1999-2007 - appeared over 70 times in various kayaking magazines, newspapers, etc.(some posthumous)
1999-1st summer in W.Va (with Jordan Dew) video boater at Gauley River (2000 at Gauley, and up through NY, Montreal and back home with Andrew West)
2001 - trip to Philippines with Erik Link Twitch crew (Tao, Stuart, Ken, Jock)
2001 - produced first video The Revolution with Andrew West (filmed 2000)
2001 - one month in Costa Rica, kayaking and filming
only kayaking major carnage—split his lip in half while kayaking requiring several stitches (see carnage end of Broke Hungry Happy)
* 2001 - filming with TGR (Valhalla)
2001- filmed Broke Hungry and Happy, The Revolution II, produced 2002
2002 - his Mom asked him to move into his own apartment—1st “apartment” was a tent in the backyard of friend Byl Kravetz for $50 a month
2002 - worked 90+hrs. for a few weeks at SLC Winter Olympics (stayed with friend and kayaker, Corey Volt)
2002 - met friend & fellow kayaker, Braden Fandrich of BC
2002 - met and began kayaking with friend Graham Wright
2002 - sold footage and aired on Fox TV-“You Gotta See This”
2003 - his beater car, Ford Escort broke down in Denver on his way to Charlie Beaver’s memorial float in Steamboat Springs; bought a Nissan 4x4 pick up from his grandfather (he loved that truck)
2003 - won 1st place, IR Big Gun, down river for his “donkey flip off of Chickamus River, B.C.” and 1st in Thompson Rodeo (BC) (only two he entered that year)
2003 - North Stein expedition with Braden Fandrich and Corey Boux
2003 - first cover shot, cover of Kayak Session (70 footer)
January 2004 - part time job at Boise NBC affiliate, as week end news editor
January 2004 - met Lindsey Hazlewood
Spring 2004 - 2nd cover shot, cover of Rapid Magazine, along with his article about his North Stein expedition
2004 - Entered North Stein Experience video in National Paddling Film Festival
2004 - working on 3rd video “Idaho Whitewater Wrap UP”
4/13/04 - successful showing/event at HaPenny of “Idaho Whitewater Wrap Up”

4/23/04: the day before David died:
  Lunch with his Mom at Macaroni Grill
  Writing an article culminating from a study he was doing on comparison of cardiovascular workouts of kayaking, biking, running
  Return call from The Apprentice 2 asking for him to set up an interview for assistant camera man, after they had received his resume that week
  Typed up some of his 2004 goals
  Updated his Biography
  Called his mom, another friend, and his girlfriend Friday night, but none of them were home to find out what he called about
  Last minute he decided to enter Pull, Pedal Paddle race (he had been training but didn’t know if he could find someone to cover at Channel 7 on Saturday
  4/24/04 Pull, Pedal, Paddle competition; David “finished his race” at about 11:15 a.m. that Saturday morning
  4/29/04: Memorial Celebration of David’s Life
  4/30/04: Memorial float, South Fork of Payette
  5/1/04: Blues Bouquet Memorial Event
  July 04, 05, 06, 07 - Memorial BBQ for Davids friends

Some Sponsors
Pyranha team (started in 98)
Bomber Gear
Necky (2004)
Smith (2004)
Level Six
Dangerous Dave Productions

Media he appeared in (partial list)
Rapid (including cover shot 04)
Kayak Session (including cover shot 03)
Idaho Statesman
Boise Weekly
Montana Surf
American Whitewater
Bomber Gear & other catalogs

Video appearances/TV
The Revolution
Broke, Hungry and Happy (Revolution II)
Fox TV: “You Gotta See This”
Outdoor Life Network: sold footage
Still Twitchin
Twitch 4
The White Album
Valhalla (TGR)
Lunch Video Magazine #7
Spike TV, "Wild World of Spike - Urban Kayaking" (2007)

Notable Results
'03 IR Big Gun for Kickflip of Chickamus Falls, BC
'02 Boise Country Throwdown, 2nd
'01 Canyon Creek Extreme Race, 1st
'01 Jackson Hole Rodeo, 1st
'01 Wenatchee Rodeo, 2nd
'00 Boise Country Throwdown, 1st

Favorite Paddling Place
British Columbia

Favorite Spots
North Fork of the Payette
Any steep secluded creek/river
Bennett’s Wave/Climax Wave (Payette River, Idaho)

Favorite TV Shows
Saturday Night Live
(but he couldn’t sit still for long!)

Memorable (non kayaking) trips with family
Christmases and summertime in Colorado
Vancouver BC to sailboat with grandparents age 11 and 13
Disneyland, Palm Springs, San Diego age 14
Vegas with his Mom age 19
Two trips to AZ to see grandparents age 18 and 23

Other “tidbits”
-Always on the move since he began walking at 9 months
-As a young boy, afraid of dogs, horses, bees, shots
-As a young boy, he somersaulted around the house to get from place to place
-Pepsi collectibles
-Liked juicing
-Designed and sewed some “cargo” pants
-Played in a “garage band” with Tyler Smith and another friend “Wrong Time, Wrong Place”
-liked Johnny Cash, liked Classical music, along with Metallica (Ride the Lightning) Notorious BIG, etc
-Tight with money, saved money very well; could live on a shoe string
-in 2002 bank qualified him for a small house loan—his plan was to find roommates so that the rental income would cover his mortgage, while he camped in his back yard; decided he was too transitory to tie himself down at this time

Memorable Quotes
Age 5 when his grandparents had retired: “Grampa, I’d like to be retarded like you.”
Age 9 in regards to doing small household chores: “I HATE jobs!!!!”
(age 21) “Mom, if you hadn’t stayed home from work to be with me (ages 0-9) I probably would have ended up in jail.”
“You only live once—make the most of it.”
“The lifestyle: live it, know it!”


Dangerous Dave