By John Webster
Posted on December 21, 2015
I started shooting whitewater sports in 2010, documenting newly acquainted friends paddling the Payette River. I saw them swim, laugh, and learn all from the shore where I stood. Three years later, I myself started to paddle and engage in learning the art of kayaking. Then it became clear; the people I was paddling with influenced me. I starting learning to get over fears, observe nature, and to embrace moments. Moments, like waves, ebb and flow- high and low. Moments which teach us about each other, our own self, and the world of which we are all a part.
I have seen moments of triumph, styling rapids and overcoming mental battles. I have seen moments of defeat, which does not halt the mind or body for long, it’s in a sense motivation. In contrast, I’ve seen bliss, simply being able to enjoy a run for what it is. I have seen perseverance; hiking through bush to paddle a waterfall with no telling if it was good to run. I have seen reverence and reflection: elders passing on patience and knowledge to benefit the foundation of the next river experience. I have observed new friendships being born, a web that continues to grow. I have witnessed the drive within; the want to explore and experience places new and old with the people you trust.
I have documented the prideful energy this small paddling community has for being some of the world’s best travelers and athletes. There’s a magic withheld in the cracks and canyons of the world. Bonds form and nature prevails as the be-all end-all drive to live and learn. It’s hard to beat the moments of experiencing a river and the people who come along with it.