Vintage Whitewater Kayak Video Week: Russian Military Edition [1984]

Thursday, 10 October 2013
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We have a change in direction for our week-long tribute to vintage whitewater kayaking videos. This time we go all the way back to 1984 and visit Mother Russia.

Back then, the Soviet Army was looking at new fighting and travel techniques when somebody suggested rafts and double kayaks as a method of transportation down raging rivers.

To help sell the idea, officials got together a troop, trained them up and then turned them loose down the river with the cameras rolling. They then turn the footage into a short film so the Minister of Defense can make a decision.

The whole thing is just over 6 minutes long and you can jump ahead to 1:20 to see the whitewater action. Highlights include an authentic soundtrack (whatever that means), lots of flips and spills (looks like they were demonstrating how safe they were?) and plenty of double kayak action rolling in the water.

Make sure you stick around for the mock battle at the end where the soldiers paddle downstream, jump out of their boats then start shooting everything they see. The mock deaths are super dramatic.

No word on what the Minister of Defense thought about the film.

You can watch the whole video below:

Thanks to Vladimir for the video tip.

David Johnston

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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