-SHARN - Team Videographer/Photographer
-SAM SUTTON - Kayaker
-JOSH NEILSON - Kayaker
-DYLAN TOMPSON - Kayaker
-JAMIE SUTTON - Safety/ Photographer
-MIKE DAWSON - Kayaker
-THE LOW DOWN-
Since i was in Thailand i have been back in nz relaxing, hanging out with family and enjoying the good new wine. That was until i needed to earn a few dollars to keep me going for summer. I got a 2 week job teachin kayaking in wellington. Unfortunatly i missed out on the first week of a New Zealand Kayak film mission directed by a guy from Australia who has a sick series of completed contracts filming freestyle motocross, surfing etc etc. Week one of the tour saw the boys paddling nevis bluff twice, Citeron, Retrospect, the Turmbull River, and saw Sharn harnessed out of Dandos helicopter filing the boys bomb down the Kokatahi River on the West Coast of the South island.
After one last huck session on Maruia Falls the boys boarded the ferry across to wellington. With many txts back and forward i was picked up at the terminal in wellington and i was off on what was to be one the most epic weeks kayaking one could dream of! It was 1 am in the morning and Sam was on a mission to get us to the put in of aratiatia rapids or huka falls by sunrise.
-Josh Neilson in top section of Aratiatia Rapids
Keeping his word we set up a tent at 6.30am and had an hour sleep in taupo before heading out to scout Aratiatia.
With a crew there to run safety we played 'paper sissors rock' to see who would go first, second and third. I was first with a clean line through the top and boofed straight into the boil at the weir and took a roll but no worries. Sam and dylan Stomped it and we ran the rest out to the bottom with no worries.
-Dylan flying through the Weir, Sharn getting the close up shot
What a sick bit of water! Many have commented on being glad o tick this one off the list but we wanted more! So after a relaxing day off paddling a few waterfalls in the waikato region we returned to be the first people to go back and paddle Aratiatia for a second time! something we thought was interesting because of how amazing this rapid is! Everyone had more sick lines through an amazing crack in the earth.
-Sam Styling the weir....AGAIN!
With a lot of enthusiasm in the air we headed south to try run a 50footer on the whakapapaiti river but with a few car troubles we decided to meet at callums for many a beer to celebrate. On wednesday we headed to Bliss-Stick HQ for the christmas party and picked up the new MINI MYSTIC!!!!!!!
-Josh getting a feel for the new Mini Mystic!!!!
Outstanding! this boat is wild! Small, light, responsive, fast off the mark, boofs like a charm etc etc. So with the party in full flight I voiced my enthusiasm to the boys about a trip on friday to 'Tree trunk gorge'..... Eyes lite up and we had a team. Sam, Dylan and myself and fellow Bliss-stick team mate mikey dawson would drop into the gorge on friday afternoon.
-Sam trying to get a glimpse of the water in Tree trunk Gorge
With Jamie Sutton there for safety and 4 video cameras manned by shran, 3 still cameras above the gorge and one head camera on my head we were in and committed. I stomped the entrance rapid which for me was the crux and mike followed. Dylan hit the wall and went into a pocket and was part of our only rescue of the trip.
-Sam and Jamie pulling out Dyl and his kayak
Sam and jamie Pulled his boat up and out of the gorge as well as him and he nailed it the second time. So with everyone safe and happy i rolled off the 45footer into the darkenss of the gorge folllowed by sick lines by the rest of the crew. one more 25footer and we were out. A very small section but consequences that are unthinkable!! Probably the most amazing, beautiful and breathtaking place ive ever been.
-Josh hitting the line on the big falls
Back at the kaituna Sharn was busy loading up footage and we even got a few runs down the kaituna one time we took down blow up pool toys which was fun. Another Christmas party and the tour was over. Sharn has the footage he needs, Dylan has returned to dunedin, Sam and jamie are still livin the life in okere falls and I am back in the bay preparing for the next adventure.
Huge thanks go out to everyone who helps us with these trips!! Especially Jamie Sutton, Phill, Jamie, Chee, Sam, Evan For your safety efforts on this trip!!! Kenny Mutton and others for photos and additional film, Callum, Fe and Tim, Patti and Neil for letting us stay at your house and amazing food!!!!
Much respect to all of u!!!!!!!!