- PADI Instructor
- Shop Staff
Kris Baumann was born Kristal Baumann, the son of an exotic male dancer who had been hoping for a girl to continue the proud and storied heritage of Appalachian Belly Dancing, which had been a mainstay of the Baumann household for generations. Growing up in rural Appalachia had a profound, formative effect on Kris, and while he did not continue in the family tradition, he always had an eye for the ‘shine and a quiet ‘holler.
Being from a region where malnutrition was rampant, Kris was an anomaly, as he was an exceedingly tall child. This height helped him lead his local middle school basketball team to 5 consecutive regional titles, before local sporting authorities became suspicious that the same school was turning out a giant power forward every year, but with a different haircut each time. His school was stripped of their titles, and Kris fled north, to Canada.
In Canada, Kris settled into the quiet life of a Marmot Guide. Not to be confused with the brand of outdoor wear, Kris literally guided marmots around the forests and mountains to better foraging and nesting grounds. In return, the marmots brought Kris nuts, berries, roots, and other wilderness provisions to sustain him. He gained a reputation as an exceptional guide for these woodland critters, and often returns to this area of Canada (undisclosed) to reconnect with his former “employers”.
Kris arrived in Alaska with nothing but a bottle of premium, uncut maple syrup, a jar of purple sand (this isn’t a metaphor. It was just a jar of purple sand), his dive gear, and a pair of bunny boots. He calls them his Bugs Bunny Boots. He won’t say why.
- 175 cold-water dives
- 600 logged dives
- PADI Instructor
- GUE Fundamentals
- Marmots (and other woodland critters)
- Career decision-making
- Claiming birthplaces depending on convivence to the conversation
- Generally happy
- Kinda Canadian, kinda a Hick, but in a good way
- Kris can adequately dive fins that most people consider “completely unfit for cold-water diving” without any issues.
- Kris is a vegetarian, but only because he hates animals. In his words, “Cows don’t deserve to be eaten. Maybe if they tried harder, I’d consider it.”
- Kris bought a drysuit that was used by a diver assisting with a rescue in a waste water treatment plant pond. Reading this profile may be his first time hearing this.