We have a team at H2o Dreams. Well, maybe not in the sense of other paddling companies but this is very much the group who will help get the hard work done for the 2013 season. It is yet another ambitious year for H2o Dreams as we embark on new endeavors as well as a few familiar ones.
Firstly, what are we getting ourselves into for the 2013 season? Chris (myself) will be putting priority on private instruction for the 2013 summer season but will also be adding some group outings for the fall season and a winter trip to the rivers of Chile. This is an exciting new start for me as I finally take my instruction international. Dates and details on fall and winter trips will follow very soon. Feel free to contact me if you are seeking private instruction at ch***@wh**************.com.
Last year was a big year in terms of video production from H2o Dreams and this year is equally as ambitious. We will be concluding production on “It Takes a River,” the story about the Cuyahoga River community in which I got my start in paddling. This river has had a long history of mistreatment but is an exceptional case study in the rebound of a river ecosystem and how its community has rallied around it.
“The Whitewater Troubleshooter” had pretty far reaching success and accomplished many of the goals I set out for it. It generated a good deal of discussion on paddling technique and how we teach and learn such technique. To follow suit, we will be releasing a new “Troubleshooter” series in association with Wave Sport, set to release in July… look for the teaser to come mid-June. We have also started a new web-series in association with NRS Films entitled “The Learning Curve.” The idea behind this series is to discuss many of the topics that get left out in paddling schools and offer some humor and insight into the daily lives of kayakers. You can view the first episode below.
There has also been a great deal of production that has already taken place this year as I have been collecting stock footage of various aspects of the paddle sports industry. I will also be working on a film short entitled, “Birth of a Kayak.” There has always seemed to be a disparity of information between manufacturer and consumer on what goes into the concept, design, and production of the products we present to the public on a daily basis. The hope is not to just romanticize the process but to actually offer insight. Keep your eyes open for that near the conclusion of the 2013 season.
However, none of this would even be possible without an awesome team of folks who bear with me and my frequent “meltdowns.” I don’t really melt down a whole lot, but I have felt the pressure of not having enough time to get it all done, and this of course has led to the need to bring high quality folks into the ranks. Without further ado:
Lydia Cardinal; my confidant and best friend, and also a very large part of the brain power behind the scenes of H2o Dreams. The concept of “The Learning Curve” stemmed from this young lady during one of our many brain storms. She just recently graduated from the University of North Carolina in the International Studies program and is a welcomed addition to the team any time she can spare some time. Turns out, she is a phenomenal presence on the river as well! If you read many of the articles that have cropped up on the H2o Dreams blog in the past year, they more often than not were written by Lydia. Lyd and I are currently working on the future direction of H2o Dreams and look to expand on its programming and educational media.
Ali Gillam; H2o Dreams has its very first intern! Ali hails from the great state of Ohio and is currently a student at Kent State University in the school of Journalism and Mass Communication. Turns out we share a lot in common including growing up in towns right next to one another. Ali was referred to me through a close friend who directs the outdoor program at Kent State University, Dave Herpy. The commonalities I believe will help to align a better educational experience while she is interning with us this summer. By and large her role will be educational as I hope to offer plenty of opportunities to learn, but nonetheless, I look forward to having her input and help throughout the summer season.
Sam Fulbright; though a vagabond by heart, Sam has put some roots down in North Carolina for some time now and as a result has increased productivity as well as ambition. Sam has always played a large role in the operation of H2o Dreams as my co-instructor in group clinics. From a creative stand point, Sam has always been one of the easiest people to work with when he is behind a camera, whereas my strengths lie in logistics and planning. He has taught me a great deal and I hope that I have always reciprocated the learning opportunities. Although Sam owns two businesses, Pilot Collective Media and Bliss-Stick.us, and is currently developing his first non-profit, Shift, we always find time to collaborate on projects. Keep your eyes open for our joint project “It Take a River,” as well as many other, humorous, side projects.
There are of course many others who always help with the direction as well as many of the great students we have had the opportunity to work with over the years. The great thing about H2o Dreams, I feel, is the accessibility and its dedication to education. Our end goal is not to simply make a profit; its to make sure your investment of time, energy and soul yields a solid return and builds a solid foundation for the remainder of your paddling careers. We are always here.
Chris Wing, founder and director of H2o Dreams LLC