For folks that have ever worked with me in a lesson, as a co-instructor or student, you know one of my big goals has always been to create an instructional film. I have long battled with the idea of what I wanted to commit my life to professionally, and despite whether I decided to stay with kayaking as a career, I knew I had to complete this project before I could move on. Now that we are nearing completion on this project, I now know I will continue to push for the betterment of our paddling community through education and stewardship in a high capacity for the foreseeable future.
This project should have been filmed in the fall of 2011, but due to an unlikely injury, I was sidelined and forced to wait yet another year to accomplish this goal. Sometimes I think things are just meant to happen. At the start of the year I received news that I would receive support for several projects, one of which was the “Whitewater Troubleshooter.” Wave Sport has showed continued dedication to my vision and has supported me through this project. They are a company that I am proud to be a part of and when I approached Bryan Kirk about being a part of the team 3 years ago, I emphasized the need for growth. They have been a conduit of growth for me personally and professionally and I am happy to have them be the presenting sponsor for this film.
Also crucial in making this project easier were NRS and Watershed DryBags, who provided equipment and helped keep the project moving smoothly. Again, working with companies that have a similar vision and allow me to have creative liberty, allows me to produce an educational resource to the public free of charge.
Overall, my goal with this project was to introduce a different approach to video kayak instruction, which I think is how most instructors end up teaching as they teach students who are past their first few lessons. That is troubleshooting. Instead of a simple “how-to” approach, this approach takes more time to explain and give ownership to the student, by teaching “how come.” I fell into a bit of an abyss with this series, as there is an endless list of pitfalls a paddler can face and have troubleshooted. This is just a start. My goal was to start with the most basic and work our way upward. However, with each skill, we will introduce the common problems first and work through the “why” these problems commonly happen.
I hope you enjoy, but most of all, I hope this makes you ask some new questions as opposed to just accepting things as is. We deal with a fluid and dynamic environment and we are constantly breaking the rules!
-Chris Wing, H2o Dreams LLC