Last night we took a time out to watch Kent Ford’s latest documentary: The Call of the River. As Kent himself describes it, the documentary “is a collage of unexpected influences, from World War II’s impact on boat materials to world champions defecting from communist regimes. Curiosity, ingenuity and outright audacity thrived, from building boats in friends basements to bribing damkeepers to release water, all in pursuit of the river experience.”
The video is really well done. It is fascinating, funny and enlightening. What we liked the most about the video was the fact that so many of the influential members of the whitewater community were captured in the video. Throughout the video these folks share poignant memories of the fascinating history of whitewater development. And of course we all cheered when ERA’s own Ken Kastorff was on!
The Call of the River is the perfect addition to two books that have come out in the past few years: Doug Woodward’s Wherever Waters Flow and Will Leverette’s A History of Whitewater Paddling in Western North Carolina. All three remind us that while kayaking had its humble beginnings, even more humbling is that the cool things being done today really take a back seat to what was being done back when canoes were made out of canvas and kayaks of fiberglass.
And of course we are carrying The Call of the River in our store 🙂