Kayaking has taken me to some wild places and confronted me with many challenges. What I've began to realize is more of those obstacles are off the river, not on. I love kayaking far to much to consider a hard rapid or a tiring portage a challenge. That's my life and what I dream about all day, so it's not a task, rather an opportunity. The challenges come in when I mix my insanely powerful passion for the sport into my everyday life with the outside world. Interacting with people who don't have a clue what I do or don't give a rats ass about it, can make simple things difficult. I have been so intertwined in the kayak world and lifestyle for so long now that when I step out, I am challenged to be a happy and positive person.
What does this mean?... Leave planet earth and go to Boofenland? I wish, but that's not option. None of us are making much money in the sport. The longer I commit to being a whitewater athlete, the less time I have to start a career or find a real job. This is where I have to gather my feelings and make choices that will not only benefit me in the present moment, but also the future. Does this mean I'm going to quit kayaking to go make lots of money...NEVER! I am just trying to find a balance in my life and some sort of exterior stability or like Tupac said, "A Thug's Mansion" where I can go once my life becomes less "BROWN"!
I want to be a kayaker forever...I can foresee myself running the White Salmon, North Fork Payette, Futaleufu, and Cherry Creek for decades to come. It's truly the love of my life. With how hard we are going these days decision making skills are almost as important as the paddling skills. I have to be in it for the right reasons. Personal goals and Fun! These days I'm trying to make money kayaking, but I really don't want to turn boating into a "JOB". I want to do what I do, because I know I can stick it, and I am going to have a hell of a time doing it. That doesn't mean I'm not going to take risks and maybe hurt myself on the path I choose. All that means is I'm going to do my best to leave my ego behind and boat as hard as I can for all the right reasons.
So I know it's 2012 and none of this is going to matter when the world ends on the 21st of December, but this is something for everyone to think about. Kayaking is a full on ego driven sport, and I am a part of the game. I love how it works, when I see something big or amazing happen, it pushes me to go out and do the same. I want to draw my line where I stop going out and pushing myself for fun and rather for a pro-status or bragging rights. I make movies about kayaking hard whitewater, but I boat 100% with my heart and soul, I suggest doing the same. It truly is my religion...Church!
Here are some shots I just edited and want to put up!
Ryan "Baby Bird" Lucas enjoying the friendly mosquitos of the Californian highlands
Ben Marr running one of the best drop of the North Fork of the American, California.
A sequence shot of my 2012 line of Cascada Bonito in Argentina.
Throwing the ever so awesome "brown" off one of the best boofs in the world. Rio Nevado, Chile!
Layin' Treats on the biggest drop of the Rio Turbio in Pucon, Chile.
Lane Jacobs getting through the Box canyon of the Clarks fork in Wyoming.
Sam Friehofer on the edge of Toketee Falls in Umpqua, Oregon.
Todd Well eating sh*t off his baby...Skate Park Falls, Summit Creek, WA.
Baby Bird in the after the 4th descent of Twin Sisters on Fostall Creek, BC.
Dj Stoneman on the 5th Descent of Lower Pinkston Falls, BC.
2007 lap number two with the Kiwi Crew on West Cherry Creek, CA.
One of the most tranquil and beautiful pieces of water in the world...Nymph Pool, Tatlow Creek, BC.