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A Travel Show of Journeys and Kayaking Lifestyles: A Soulful Insight While Exploring New Zealand and People Who Live By The Paddle

What makes some people choose a life against the "norm"? That “something” which draws souls into a kayak; to paddle across tranquil lakes, to test themselves against the savage seas or the raging torrents of a mountain river. Why do some follow water for the rest of their lives? What are the songs that call us to live certain ways and what prices are paid when we listen, or...do not? Why are we so intoxicated by water, its tranquil glassy peace, or its raging roar? People that choose to live by the paddle are often misunderstood by many; however are often so revered. This series delves into the glory and joy of a life with a kayak, and the power and challenges of choosing to live the life you love. This is a story about kayakers of the oceans, rivers and lakes of the world; though there is magic, intrigue and insight to be gained by anyone who hears their stories.

A LIFE IN A YAK

My name is Jaime Sharp and I’ve lived in a yak for 20 years. I love water. I love freedom. I love adventure. They all come together in my love of kayaking.....

I have often struggled with the choices of my life, there is no denying I have loved my journey so far; the places it has led me, the people I have met, and the wonders I have seen. Though the pressure of society has often left me struggling for clarity of what I really want life to be for me. Some, who I have loved with all my heart, have sometimes told me that I cannot live the life I live 'til the day I die! I ask...what is wrong with it, and why not?

This Christmas I am returning to my homeland after living abroad for almost 10 years. I seek to reconnect with my country, my waters, my people and myself; to find the acceptance and power of living the life I have chosen for the past 20 years and move forward with honest joy of being a kayaker and the life I am empowered by. In a cheap van loaded with kayaks (whitewater, sea, and surf), camping gear, I will return to New Zealand and seek out the roots that started "a life less ordinary", the life I call mine. On the road to re-discover the essence of my paddling life, I will dive into the stories of others who have transcended the "norm" to live a life of power and water, that leaves a true (and pure) mark on their soul and those that come into contact with them. Come with me as we descend rivers, paddle lakes, journey along the coast, and hear the tales that make paddlers tick.

YAAHOO! - THE CONCEPT

Filming Begins End of December 2013.

“Yak About Adventures, a healthy outdoor obsession” (YAA HOO) is a concept for a regular online web series, blog, and media articles showcasing the lifestyle of paddling, and featuring kayak destinations around the world. It is more than just a travel show, or kayak show; it will delve into the psyche of living the paddling lifestyle, what it takes and why people choose to live it. We will also break and embrace the stereotypes (e.g. “Sea kayakers are old grey bearded men” and “white water paddlers are young hooligans”), all the while blurring the line between whitewater kayaking and sea kayaking as separate pursuits or sports.

"I have spent two decades in a kayak; I have chosen a life uncommonly lived to make sure kayaking and adventure have a firm place in my world. But along the way I have questioned my choices, occasionally turned my back on the life I love, thinking that I should live a different life, only to once again be unquestionably drawn back to the freedom and adventure of life with water, a paddle… and in a kayak." ~ Jaime Sharp

The first series of episodes will be filmed during 2 months of traveling in New Zealand during January and February of 2014 on “A New Zealand Roadie”. I will take an iconic journey through my homeland in a small camper, carrying all the gear to explore whitewater and sea kayaking destinations the length of the country. We will also share the stories of local paddling legends from New Zealand who choose to live by the paddle and have influenced the sport.

A unique DVD production of the adventures showing extra footage and stories not told during the online series will be made available for public distribution later in the year. Planned Sale price on this will be $25 USD.

When this series is finished there are two more proposed editions: a North American road trip during the summer of 2014, from Canada to Baja Mexico, followed by a tour through the UK, from Cornwall to Scotland in the fall of 2014, both again exploring the lifestyle and places that people love to paddle and some are lucky to call their lives.

Film Crew

If the project was not going to be fun already, I will be accompanied by an all women film crew and co-adventurers, led by Freya Fennwood. Their experience with kayaking is varied, though they all share a powerful passion for water, adventure and a life less ordinary. With their different styles of lifestyle in the outdoor world (and one of them not even being a kayaker) these ladies will bring a fun insight into a world that is not always understood, the world of the "kayak bum, soul boater".

Their stories, insights, triumphs and struggles will also appear throughout the story of the series, and bring a different angle to a complex tale.

Freya
Freya

Freya Fennwood, grew up in a kayak, as the daughter of John Lockwood, founder and owner of Pygmy Boats, she is an accomplished Greenland roller and enjoys surfing her sea kayak along the coast of Washington State. Freya is a professional Adventure photographer and filmmaker and has done work for Outdoor Research (OR), First Ascent/Eddie Bauer, Pygmy Boats, Sawyer, Men’s Journal, The Fly Fish Journal, Canoe & Kayak Magazine, Sea Kayaker Magazine, and NRS among others.

See her work at www.fennwoodphotography.com

Freya writes

“My life is spent chasing water in all its forms. Summers on the sea, winters on the snowy slopes of mountains. I have been sitting in a sea kayaks since I was 18 months old, and have paddled my own boat since I was 5 years old. More recently I have been pushing my technical skills in Greenland rolling and sea kayak surfing while dabbling in white water. My working life as an actions sports photographer follows my uncontrollable desire to experience this beautiful world through as many sports as possible. I have climbed peaks and followed their run-off to the ocean, paddled into the Amazon’s basin, and lived out of a parking lot in Rio de Janeiro. Age 25 has always been my goal age, I’ve had a lot of great adventures in my life but I always envisioned this year to be an epic. Yes I have been scuba diving with sharks and splitboading 12,000 foot peaks this year, but something was missing...... When I was invited on a Yak About Adventure to explore and tell the tale of the wild coastline and rivers of New Zealand for 2 months, while exploring that very question I have been asking this year “what is this life all about?”, I knew that missing piece had been found. “

Laura
Laura

Laura Prendergast, grew up in the hill country of Texas but has found her place by the water in Washington, USA, working for Pygmy Boats. Laura has a stubborn love of adventure, travel and the ocean. She has sea kayaked enough to have established her roll, though is very excited to experience more. Having a background in graphic design, she has also assisted with photography shoots and brings a critical eye to the visual team.

Laura Writes

“I don’t think anyone can deny the feeling that wells up when they stand at the shore. Transition is a powerful place in nature as it is in life.

I grew up on the rivers of the Texas hill country, and like those meandering waters I too eventually found my way to the coast. While having only come to kayaking in recent years, it has really grabbed me as an amazing way to experience the ocean and explore wild places. I could be working in a city doing marketing and design for a large corporation, but that life has never called to me. Lifestyle has been much more important and I could never sleep at night if I was marketing a product that I didn’t feel in some way improved people’s lives. Working with an outdoor company that enables people to build their own boats and get outside, is fulfilling work. While I enjoy what I do we all need to push away from the shore periodically and find adventure outside our daily routine. "The richness in life is found in adventure," writes William Orville Douglas. "It develops self-reliance and independence. Life then teems with excitement. There is stagnation only in security."

Cynthia
Cynthia

Cynthia Repko, was born in Holland though grew up in New Zealand. She is a Vet nurse and Dive Instructor and has worked around the world instructing diving, managing dive lodges and contributing to marine research. Her experience in a kayak is little, though her comfort in, love and passion for the water is unquestionable. Cynthia is also an avid photographer and has a lot of underwater camera experience.

Cynthia Writes

“When asked to spend the summer on a Yak About Adventure to help photograph, film and share the story of embracing the outdoors in its purest form while surrounded by fresh air, blue skies, flowing rivers, oceans and good people, I jumped at the chance. After 2 years of study, I have a great need to reconnect with nature and the outdoors as it’s something that pumps energy through my soul and gives me the peace that so many of us search for.  I’ve always had this underlying current in my system drawing me to water and the feeling of being free, I don’t quite understand it, buts it’s always there.  I believe this is what led me to my career in scuba diving and 10 years of travel abroad from my home country New Zealand. This trip will be a trip full of new challenges on the water and on land, many laughs I’m sure and an interesting journey into who I am and what I choose to do! “

Why 'Yak About Adventures?

The name is derived from and honors the aboriginal walkabout from Australia, where individuals venture out with no set time to seek their answers. In this case, it is about the Kayak (‘Yak), the Paddle, and the Water we love.

What We Need

We are raising money for this project via sponsorship and Kickstarter and need to raise a minimum $16,000 NZD (about $13,000 USD) to make the first series of films happen. The only thing between us sharing  this vision and journey with everyone is........

YOU! 

So choose your reward and help us share this amazing adventure with the world!

What Does The Money Go Toward?

All the funds are used to fund filming and production of the series and to cover the costs of feeding the engines of our vehicle and our bodies. Most of us choose to do this as living; to create and share visual imagery and stories that inspire people to live a more full and rich life. We are taking time off from our day jobs to plan, organize & create this series for the benefit of those who seek their own expression of living a life less ordinary.

Our biggest costs

1 - Vehicle for the trip to carry people and gear. This will likely be sold at the end to fund post production efforts.

2 - Feeding the camera crew and covering their rent while they help Jaime create this project.

3 - Fuel and transport costs

4 - Camera gear. We are investing in a couple of new pieces of film gear to augment our current collective arsenal of gear:

  • Camera Crane
  • Underwater Camera
  • A POV cam that can record high frame rate.
  • Steady cam, to allow clean panning shots

5 - Unforeseen expenses

  • Breakdowns
  • Damaged gear

Beyond this money we are also using sponsor support from gear companies, tourism services and fellow paddlers to let us feature them; in return for help showing the wonders of this lifestyle and NZ.

Rewards

There are many rewards we are offering, from stickers to trips abroad kayaking. There are of course the thank you's, emails and pre-release of the series before its public release. I will also be creating a Feature Film version to be made later in the coming year, that will tell stories and show extra footage that will not be on the online series. This will either be in DVD form or as a download.

Below we lay out some extra info and images of the rewards to the right.

Rewards #1 to 4 are all about thank you's, special mail out lists, and Pre-release viewings of the series. and vary between $12- $40

Reward #5 & 8  Have our limited edition T's available, which feature great art and prints from Winkabilities in BC, Canada. On the back you can have our whitewater print or our sea kayak print. http://www.winkabilities.com/

Custom Art for Shirts and Prints
Custom Art for Shirts and Prints

Reward #6 is your choice of one of our limited edition art prints (same as T's) on a frame board, and signed by the artist Jeanette Kangas. Choose either whitewater or sea kayaking; only 20 of each available.

Reward #9 We have 5 awesome three piece carbon Greenland Paddles from Northernlight Paddle Sports

NLP Paddle
NLP Paddle

Our High Ticket Rewards

Reward #12  One of our personal TRAK folding kayaks that we use for the series. This is an insane value for one of these amazing boats. For Just over $2200 USD, We will send you one of our slightly used boats from the trip to be your very own Yak About Adventure craft. Colours to choose from, black or red.

more info on the TRAK Seeker folding kayak here www.rethinkkayak.com

Choose Black or Red for your TRAK Kayak
Choose Black or Red for your TRAK Kayak


Adventure Trips Donated and run by
World Wild Adventures Ltd

Reward #11 Come join us for a week in NZ; the adventure starts now. Limited to 4 people, you can come camp on beaches, fish, collect mussels, sea kayak in the Bay of Islands and enjoy the best of what North Land NZ has to offer. You will get to star in an episode of the series on this 7-day all-inclusive trip (you must buy your own flight tickets, alcoholic beverages and accommodation for night before and last night) Trip details here

Camping on the north west coast of NZ
Camping on the north west coast of NZ

Reward #14 Come on an all inclusive kayaking trip to Sardinia, Italy with Jaime Sharp in March 2014, we have 3 out of 14 seats to offer. This is more than just a kayak tour; this is a chance to be immersed in the maritime culture of Sardinia. Sardinia blends spectacular beaches and seascapes with a pastoral landscape ashore. Every day ends with a stunning location to stay whether in double tents on beaches or at guest houses. Trip details here.

Reward #16/17 Jaime's Shiva Whitewater Kayak  and his Kevlar Sea Kayak. Click here for link to update to see more info and pictures of boats

Sardinian Beaches
Sardinian Beaches

Commercial Sponsor Pledges Rewards #10/13/15

These are three different contribution levels for companies who see benefit in supporting the industry and having their logo and products seen and featured. We have already had a large interest from the major UK and North American magazines to help promote and create exposure for this series, so get in there to help us create a great series that has your logo all over it.

Thanks for your time I hope we can share this adventure with you!

Jaime Sharp & team

We are supporters of Kicking It Forward  http://kickingitforward.org/

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The reality is we are all prepared to film what happens! The adventure of the project is a story in itself and the unexpected will happen and it will shape our project, though that will make the experience and the story told that much more unique. After all Adventures start with Plan "A" and often end with Plan "S" that is why they are "A"dventure"S".

The biggest hurdle for us is funding, we have the gear, the know how and the ability to make this happen, though to tell this tale we need at least $16,000. Even with this amount we are going to be pushing the funds to make the series. If we break any film gear, we do not have the budget to replace it, though we do have enough to make up for some losses.

Time is also another factor, our itinerary takes in a lot, and we need to fit into the schedules of people we need to interview and to adjust to weather that may hinder our location shoots to some extent. This also plays into getting the public and private blogs up and running and then maintaining them over the time frame of the trip. Jaime will start these the week before he leaves to NZ and the ladies will throw in their views once we have joined forces in NZ.
Though internet for publishing on the road can be limited in NZ so there will no doubt be release timing issues as we journey.

We have already faced logistics issues of buying a vehicle to use, and then getting it between the islands of New Zealand as the ferry service is completely booked out for a month around New Years. Jaime is now flying into the South Island to collect the vehicle in Dec so that it is all set up for us when we all take the ferry as passengers from the North Island on the 1st Jan.

The other issue we have is not all members of the film crew can stay for the whole time, and will reduce some filming capabilities in the second month.
Other potentials are injuries and illness stopping us from creating what we want.

Once filming is done, the next challenge is getting the post production done with some speed to get the series out by mid 2014, before the filming of the next starts. It is quite possible that series one may have to wait until after the filming of series two (when it is successfully funded) before it is launched. But we will aim for it to start coming out in late march.

Getting all the rewards out in a timely fashion will be a good challenge though we have a good team behind us supplying us with support to help us get the rewards out ASAP.

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    #1 ($10USD) Surprise Perks Mail Out List. Get a big fat thank you for your support, a screensaver Image for your computer, and you get added to our personal mail out of followers to keep up with the action on the road. This will be a a weekly update, Separate from our Public Blog and there are surprise perks for being in this mail out group.

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    #2 ($16USD) Postcards and Surprises Get a big fat thank you for your support, A post Card from on the Road in NZ, a screensaver Image for your computer, and you get added to our personal mail out of followers to keep up with the action on the road. This will be a a weekly update, Separate from out Public Blog, and there are surprise perks for being in this mail out group.

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    #3 ($20USD)Feature Film Pre-Order We give you big thanks, a screen saver and reward you with the pre-order of the feature film of the series download release when it's available later next year. Film will feature bonus footage and extended story that is not in the web series.

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    #4 ($30USD) Pre-Release of Series and Film Download. We give you big thanks, pre-release viewing of each episode of series 1 (you get a code to view each a week before official release of the episode), you are put on our mail out list as in Reward #1, and you get the Download of the Feature film version of the series later in the Year. The Film will feature bonus footage and extended story that is not in the web series.

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    #5 ($45USD) Yak About T-Shirt We give you big thanks and a limited addition Yak About Adventure t-shirt. Get your funky swag to suit your pursuit. Alternative apparel quick dry. Choose women's or men's size, colour (black, blue or green) and whitewater or sea kayaking design. (see Story page for Design details)

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    #6 ($77USD) Limited edition Art Print You get our big thanks and a 12x12 Limited Edition art print, artist signed by Jeanette Kangas. only 20 of each Choose Sea Kayak or Whitewater design print (same as T-shirts).

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    #7 ($80USD) Your Name in the Credits, and More. We give you big thanks in the series and include your name in the credits of the series and feature. pre-release viewing of each episode of series 1 (you get a code to view each a week before official release of the episode), you are put on our mail out list as in Reward #1, and you get the Download of the Feature film version of the series later in the Year. The Film will feature bonus footage and extended story that is not in the web series.

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    #8 ($300USD) Custom Thank Shirt in an Episode. 10 people get the above extras in Reward #7, plus we give you a big thanks and have a T-shirt printed with Your name on the front that will be worn in one of the Episodes stating that you are an awesome part of this production (Look in the Story to the left for image details). We will then send a shirt to you afterwards. Choose your size, colour and design as in #5. This reward must be selected by Dec 18th, to be able to make it happen.

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    #9 ($377USD, includes shipping) You Get a Northernlight 3 Piece Greenland Paddle with a custom Yak About Adventures sticker on the blade. We have been given 5 of these in support of our project to offer as rewards. So come get a new stick for your quiver to help create your own "Yak About Adventure". We have traveled the world with ours and they are tough and fun. You will also receive the other rewards from #1.

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    #10 ($500USD) Bronze Level Commercial Sponsor Package – Logo on vehicle for 2 months through NZ plus first choice with second series. 3 commercial A grade photographs from the trip for your marketing and of your products if also provided. (see under gear sponsorship, contact Jaime for more on this Jaime@yakaboutadventures.com)

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    #16 Buy Jaime's Pyranha Shiva This is a big boat for big waters. It has only been used for Demo paddles and is brand new. It is located in BC Canada and will only be shipped within North America (and we will put $100 towards the shipping). It has our Yak About Adventure stickers on it and is ready for our North American project, though we are happy too sell it to help fund this first project. Picture of boat in About section to the Left.

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    #11 ($1700USD) Come Join Us for a Week in NZ. The adventure starts now (limited to 4 people). You can come camp on beaches, fish, collect mussels, sea kayak in the Bay of Islands and enjoy the best of what North Land NZ has to offer. 7 day all inclusive trip (you must buy your own flight tickets,alcoholic beverages and accommodation for night before and last night) Provided by World Wild Adventures Ltd. Trip details here http://worldwildadventure.com/tours/signature-series-trips/northland-explorer/

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    #12 ($2200 USD) TRAK Folding Sea Kayak Get one of our personal TRAK Folding kayaks that we use for the series. This is an insane value for one of these amazing boats Especially if you are in NZ. These boats enables Yak About Adventures to paddle in the places we go, we will send you one of our slightly used boats (brand new for this project) at the end of the trip and you can save big on the price. Colour options, Black or Red. More info here www.rethinkkayak.com

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    #13 ($2500USD) Silver Level Commercial Sponsor Package. You get sponsor logo in the end credits and logo on truck, we provide 10 commercial A grade photographs of your products in use, and a 2 minute film piece “ in the field product feature” for your company of 1 product of your choice.

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    #17 Buy Jaime's Kevlar Sea Kayak This Sea Bear Waitoa from Paddling Perfection is an epic expediton boat and stunning part of NZ sea kayaking evolution. Jaime Paddled this boat the Length of the North Island of New Zealand 3 years ago, and the same models where used for the first circumnavigation of South Georgia Island by NZ's Adventure Philosophy Team. Hot in Orange and Red we will deliver this boat to you at the end of the project. Fee for Shipping within NZ included, this boat usually sells for $5000 NZD.

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    #14 ($3,600USD) Sardinia Cultural Kayaking Trip. Come on an all inclusive kayaking trip to Sardinia, Italy with Jaime Sharp in March 2014, we have 3 out of 14 seats to offer. This is more than just a kayak tour; this is a chance to be immersed in the maritime culture of Sardinia. Sardinia blends spectacular beaches and seascapes with a pastoral landscape ashore. Hike to ancient ruins within a rich history that go back to the Phoenicians, visit small farms to sample artisanal food, sleep out under the stars, and paddle dramatic coastlines. Every day ends with a stunning location to stay, whether in double tents on beaches or at guest houses. Our tranquil pace will allow us savor the subtle details that the less inhabited places offer. No kayaking experience required. trip details here. http://worldwildadventure.com/tours/sardinia-culture-by-kayak-signature-series-trip/ Supplied by World Wild Adventures Ltd

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    #15 Gold Level Commercial Sponsor Package $5,000 - $6,000 NZD ($4,000 - $5,000 USD) – Gets you major sponsor in start credits and mention of your choice of product and logo at end before credits for select episodes in first series, plus major logo placement on vehicle and first choice on second series re-sponsorship. We will also create 2-minute-a-piece “in the field product feature” for your company of two products of your choice, and supply 15 high res commercial A grade photographs of your products in use.

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Funding period

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