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.
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 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
“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 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.
“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 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.
“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........
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
- 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.
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/
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
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
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
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
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
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (21 days)