I almost never buy these videos, but after watching the preview and knowing Scott Lindgren productions tend to be a cut above the rest I ordered a copy. I just finished watching it and thought they did a great job. It's a nice mix of some kayaking history and personalities, obviously biographical info on Fisher, and good old fashion kayak porn. I'm not sure what inspired Lindgren to pick Fisher as a focal point for a film (well, he's one of the best boaters in the world, but there are other worthy subjects), but you get the feeling that during the Tsangpo trip Fisher made an impression.
They start out showing how Steve Fisher built his kayaking foundation doing long downriver races in South Africa as a boy. After getting out of school he hitchhiked north to the Zambezi and started working for the commercial raft companies. He says he discovered this new culture where "every day is a Saturday".
Maybe it's because I'm just a Colorado boater, but watching people run those big water drops on the Zambezi just amazes me. There's a sequence of one of Fisher's boating partners, Dale Jardin, swimming "The Minus" rapids on the Zambezi, which has got to be one of the most terrific swims I've ever seen. Fisher makes the point that these guys were exploring the sport in Africa almost totally isolated from the rest of the kayaking world and it helped shape his attitude towards the sport and how to approach new creek runs and freestyle moves.
They go on to show how he got caught up with Corrin Addison, Dan Campbell and some others and toured around N. America with the Riot crew, showing up to creeks and freewheeling off waterfalls - something, they say, no one else was doing at the time. The party came to a screeching halt when Campbell broke his back throwing a wheel off a waterfall in Canada.
Shortly after this Fisher got invited on the Tsangpo expedition, which he says helped him gain perspective and focus on what he wanted to do with kayaking. This seemed to be a turning point in his life where he went from wanting to just make life a party to being a role model for the sport of kayaking and helping others get inspired to push the limits.
From here on the film follows him on various creeking and freestyle expeditions. The cover shot of a first D in Quebec has to be one of the most picturesque drops I've seen. The final sequence finds him with his wife? (not explained) - significant other -buying a small home in Uganda where he motorboats out of his backyard to his favorite monster freestyle wave. He and a small crew go on a multiple day trip down the White Nile. The trip seems to be a metaphor for that point in his life. It's a combination of challenging whitewater, remote group expedition style kayaking, and immersion in nature as they float by hippos, crocodiles, and elephants.
Anyway, I enjoyed it enough to drop a little note here. I don't think anybody's managed to put out a kayaking film that breaks into the quality of the top documentaries getting wide releases in theaters, but Lindgren seems to be moving in that direction. I recommend checking it out.