Jan 16 | Rey Del Rio Waterfall Kayak Championships

by Aaron Koch

AaronNRS ambassador Aaron Koch had a front row seat at this year’s inaugural Rey Del Rio waterfall kayak championships while helping set safety for the groundbreaking event. Here’s his report.


It’s not very often that you get invited to a whitewater event that has never been done before. This year my company, Kayak Huasteca, was invited to bring competitors and help with safety at the Rey Del Rio waterfall championships. The three-stage competition took place on the Cascadas de Agua Azul in the state of Chiapas in southern Mexico, where aquamarine waters cascade over a complex series of travertine drops and slides. As you can imagine, the event was insane!

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Jan 12 | The Coast: Q&A with Photographer Ben Moon

by NRS Staff



In 2010, Ben survived a 45-minute long swim to shore through 25-foot heaving shorebreak and rocks at Nelscott Reef on the Oregon Coast. He captured this photo on the same day.

Photographer Ben Moon makes a cameo in The Coast, and offered his own expertise during the production, editing and wave riding involved in the making of the film. Ben first met Hayden Peters through mutual friends, and the two have been surfing together (and occasionally collaborating on work) ever since. They became great friends mainly, says Ben, “through our mutual love of the ocean.”

Much like Hayden, Ben has his own unique relationship with the ocean as a place for gathering perspective. We sat down with Ben and asked him to share a bit about what The Coast means to him. Here’s what he had to say. Continue reading

Jan 6 | The Coast: Q & A with Director Skip Armstrong

by NRS Staff

The Coast is powerful, unforgiving—and exactly what Hayden Peters was looking for. In the midst of facing mortality, Hayden changed his life, trading the bustle of the city for salt water, a surfboard and a sea kayak. But Hayden wasn’t the only inspiration behind the latest offering from NRS Films. Skip Armstrong, the director who brought us Of Souls + Water, Dream and Nobody’s River, is once again the creative genius behind the project. We asked Skip to share a bit with us about why he chose to make this film in particular, and what it meant to him to do just that.

NRS:  Who came up with the initial idea for this film and why was it born in the first place?

Skip Armstrong: That’s a great question. Hayden and I work together frequently and we were driving to Seattle for a job when he mentioned, “the ocean can teach you many things.” I asked him for an example, and I’ll never forget the answer because it was such a compelling way to look at one’s place and their general worldview. Continue reading

Dec 30 | The Coast: New NRS Film Sneak Peek

by NRS Staff

“For me it’s like going to another universe. Being an explorer, and a guest. You know, just a temporary guest where you get to say hello and observe and maybe learn a thing or two.” – Hayden Peters

Tomorrow is the eve of a brand-new year, and just over the cusp of midnight we have 365 fresh, new days laid out before us. Around this time, many of us consider what we’d like the New Year to hold, and we resolve to make it so. Resolutions, whether big, small, public or private, become our mantras for the fresh days following the celebrations. But this year, we invite you to do more than resolve to take a course of action for your life. We challenge you to be resolute in chasing your passion every single day, every single year, starting right now.

That’s precisely what Hayden Peters did. Trading the city and a successful career in real estate for the daily sting of salt water on his skin, Hayden reveals how life on the coast brings him balance like no other place on Earth could in The Coast.

Watch the teaser for The Coast, and this year decide on a resolution that can turn into something bigger. Create your own life-long revolution. What’ll it be?

The Coast, another inspiring film from Wazee Motion Pictures director Skip Armstrong and NRS, launches on January 6th, 2015.

Dec 15 | Hail to the Rio Baker

by Kyle Smith

Kyle SmithDTD special correspondent Kyle “Smitty” Smith checks in with his latest film edit, a tribute to the Patagonia region’s exotic and endangered Rio Baker. Read the write-up, enjoy the video, and vote for Smitty in the Kayak Session Short Film of the Year Awards.

In the far reaches of Southern Patagonia, the conditions can be harsh and beautiful. Every panoramic view holds crystalline glaciers and mind-blowing clear waters. If you can get there, you’ll understand what has made this region a pilgrimage for climbers, mountaineers, explorers, wanderers and, now, whitewater kayakers.

As a sad side note, this region is under threat of being dammed and exploited by large industries that have never touched or seen the beauty of Patagonia. They cannot quantify the simple value of a place, left untouched, unplugged and unscathed. This knowledge, and an impending fear of losing one of the world’s magical places, has flowed through the outdoor-adventure community for decades. It leaves one with an urge to travel south, far south, to what seems like the end of the earth for some, to feel the power of this place before it’s gone.

In late spring of 2014, a group of friends from all over the world including Idaho, Oregon, California, Arkansas, Texas, Peru and Argentina, scrounged together what finances they could muster to fund an ambitious journey. A journey to experience some of our most precious rivers in the world before they are gone and, hopefully, bring home passionate stories of these incredible places in order to instill a love for that which is wild and untamed.
Here is a short video of their time at the Rio Baker.

Dec 5 | Ecuador: A Kayaking Vacation Paradise

by Leland Davis

LelandWe all love a good adventure, but not every paddling trip has to be an epic expedition. Leland Davis discusses the merits of a true kayaking vacation and why Ecuador is the perfect destination.


photo-001We stumbled out of the airport, sleep deprived and more than three hours behind schedule, awkwardly weaving an unwieldy cart loaded with two kayaks, a paddle bag, and a mound of gear through the crowded obstacle course of the baggage claim area. We had left our house in NC about 26 hours earlier, the travel becoming a blur of highway miles, taxi rides, lengthy layovers, plane flights, connections, customs clearance, and a weird detour to the airport in a southern Ecuadorian town we’d never even heard of, where we spent two nervous hours in travelers’ limbo on the tarmac before finally flying on to Quito, Ecuador.

As we wheeled our ungainly cart out of the airport and into the Ecuadorian morning sunshine, I spotted a man holding up a hand-scrawled sign with a strange but phonetically approximate rendition of my name. With our kayaks and gear in our possession and our ride to whitewater paradise still waiting for us after all of our delays, it was finally time for vacation to begin! Continue reading