Saturday, 05 January 2008 20:28

DVD Review: Pacific Horizons

Pacific Horizons Cover

Pacific Horizons is the latest film released to the growing trend of big water sea kayaking. Filmed and produced by Bryan Smith, it is entirely shot in the Pacific Northwest.


Even before its release, Pacific Horizons was generating a significant amount of buzz. Bryan had to rush a pre-release version of it so it would be ready in time for its headline debut at the 2007 West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium. The biggest news came when it was chosen as a finalist for the famed 2007 Banff Mountain Film Festival.

Clocking at 60 minutes, it takes the viewer through many different aspects of sea kayaking including placid flatwater paddling, tripping, surfing and Greenland rolling.

Pacific Horizons is split up into short vignettes or mini adventures that help to tell the story of paddling in and around the Pacific Northwest.

I especially enjoyed the documentary about Greenland champion, Dubside highlighting his idea of "Commando Kayaking". Commando Kayaking is a philosophy that you don't need to travel to a far off land to be able to find your adventure. In fact, you don't even need to own a car; just the ability to be creative. Dubside is a well known paddler who travels via public transportation to the local paddling destinations with his collapsible Feathercraft kayak stuffed in a suitcase with wheels.

For those who are looking for high adrenaline action won't be disappointed. Bryan organized a trip with his closest friends to paddle the best tide races up and down the coastline of Vancouver Island. Using his experience producing whitewater kayaking films, Smith is able to bring the viewer right into the tide races with some really unique shots and sequences. It was a pleasure to watch and made very jealous that we don't have tides here on the Great Lakes.

Pacific Horizons could also be used as a tourism film as it highlights the best paddling destinations up and down the coast. Though as an outsider who has never paddled in any of the places highlighted, it was sometimes to difficult to keep track of where exactly they were filming. An introduction map showing where they are would geographically put the paddling location in perspective.

I really enjoyed this film. The people highlighted throughout were very unpretentious and down to earth. It easily made me feel that I was out there in the adventure with them and they didn't mind sharing all that big water with me.

Information on how to purchase Pacific Horizons can be found via their website.


David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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