Sunday, March 27, 2011
My Reasons | Adventure Lifestyle Photographer
A few years ago I drove down to a play wave on the Red Deer River near Sundre Alberta to see if I couldn't catch a few kayakers doing their thing. What I found when I got there was way cooler.
I stepped off the grassy bank and onto the wet rocky beach looking down to try not to slip and break my neck or worse, my camera. When I looked up I saw this guy standing at the edge of the river in a head-to-toe wetsuit, helmet.....and not a boat in site. I was a little confused at first and then from the corner of my eye I saw it. The bone-white and unmistakable shape of a surf board, leaning up against a stand of willows.
I was pumped, this was not the ocean, this was the Red Deer River. Quickly I made my introduction and asked if I could get some shots of him on the river. His name was Carl and he had apparently moved from the UK where he had a surfboard Co. Carl told me he had surfed all over the world but sold the company and was now going to school in Edmonton. In fact Carl mentioned he was not the only one but there was a group of people in Alberta who surfed in the rivers on waves created by the same features that kayakers played on. This I thought was amazing.
I wasn't amazed by the fact that Carl surfed on rivers thousands of miles from the ocean. No, I was amazed that there are still a few people who are looking for something different. Maybe that hybrid sport or the fringe of something mainstream that eventually separates from itself to become its own entity. Like Will Gadd's early push into mixed climbing or Red Bull"s Crashed Ice. I love that "fringe" and am attracted to these type of people.
I still love the climbing, biking, and skiing in the mountains. But what really gets me pumped about what I do, is spending time with amazing, interesting, and different athletes. The kind of people who's eyes seem to always be wide-open, always aware, excited for the next adventure. The kind of people who fill you with energy when you talk to them, you know they understand their passions and pursue them like its the last day they will ever have.