WELCOME to my first post at River-Roots.com. I guess i'll kick it off with giving you all the heads up as to what this site is all about, and where i'm at with everything... Some of you may know the Young Gun films that have been an integral part of whitewater videos since 2001. Myself, Brooks Baldwin and Marlow Long started YGP as teens and pushed the company to be one of the leading whitewater kayaking production companies. Our titles Next Generation, New Reign, Dynasty, and Source were some of the best selling kayaking films, and went on to win several film festivals and awards... Notoriety and awards aside, YGP represented a group of friends who pushed each other and the sport of kayaking to the best of our abilities. Today, YGP is still in existence, but at this stage I have gone the independent route and formed my own production company River Roots. Not much has changed for me as i'm still hard at it traveling with the same crew to new locations and pushing it to the next level. TRIBE represents what YGP once was, and River Roots (along with Revolutionary Innovations) represents the production companies documenting the kayakers...
A lot of people ask me what River Roots means, and why I chose the name. I think it has multiple meanings, but the name stems as a dedication to my home river "The Salmon" in Northern California. I grew up on the Salmon River and it taught me almost everything I know about kayaking. Steve Fisher has the Zambezi River, Patrick Camblin the Ottawa River, Pat Keller the Green River, etc. I feel like it is the river that develops and molds the paddler into who they become... As your paddling skills grow, you start to paddle new rivers and those rivers also influence your style and skill level. Rivers are constantly changing, evolving, dropping, falling, and shifting... As the years go by, I too have changed as a boater, but my roots will always remain with the Salmon.
At this moment I am in Switzerland competing in my 4th World Championships. I'm now 24 years old, and it seems like a lifetime ago that I competed in my first World Championships in 2003. I'm amazed at the level of progression happening right now... There are some incredibly talented youngsters namely Jason Craig, (USA) Dane Jackson (USA), Sebastian from France, and Emily Jackson is killing it in the women's division... Competition is good because it pushes everyone to progress themselves, and ultimately the sport. However, these big events are often held on small features that are not great representations of "big wave kayaking" which in my mind is the forefront of freestyle competition. That being said, it's damn impressive to see what people are doing on a tiny 3 ft tall wave. Without a doubt it's going to be tough to make it through but at this point all I can do is my best. I've been creek boating as much as i've been play boating this year and I honestly can't imagine how I could have pushed myself much harder with both disciplines....
Tune into the blog as the week goes on i'll do my best to keep it updated. I am really busy right now though.... I have a movie premier of Africa Revolutions Tour and Stakeout next Thurs, two hip hop acts to memorize songs for, late night training sessions on the wave, and of course partying can not be avoided. Switzerland is epic!
Training in Switzerland