David-Fusilli-Tygart-River

Photo by Ramon Dompor

From the underrated but premier whitewater rapids of West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania now comes a first-hand look at paddling life on the East coast.

Eastern rivers sometimes go unnoticed in the shadow of many world-class runs, but the film Aegir seeks to give underdogs like Deckers Creek, Bull Run, the Youghiogheny River, and the Tygart River the attention they deserve.

We sat down with paddler and producer Adam Nawrot to get more information on the project. “I contacted Dave Fusilli and Jared Seiler of the infamous kayaking collective Demshitz last year about shooting a project here on the East Coast,” he explains. “These guys are no strangers to paddling all over the globe but have a big soft spot for the local runs they grew up on.”

The filming process brought with it an inspiring energy for both the paddlers and producers themselves, as well as the surrounding paddling community. “Shooting with the Demshitz gang is a wild time,” Nawrot says of his adventures along the way. “When Demshitz is filming, people want to be involved and that’s awesome because everyone is so stoked to be out there and the vibe is really great! That positive energy goes a long way when the film crew is hauling camera cranes through rhododendron thickets and loosing members in chest high snow drifts.”

Nawrot remembers the most exciting part of the whole project, when the group decided to light up Swallow Falls on the Youghiogheny River and capture the river under the stars. “That ended up being the launching point for the main section of the short film. It was really special to be capturing something that not only looked amazing and other-otherworldly on camera but that also had the athletes stoked to be interacting and experiencing the river in a new and abstract way. The biggest thing we learned during this project, however, is that law enforcement does not appreciate how rad it is to be filming sick kayaking footage at night.”

Despite any struggles with the police, though, Aegir has successfully put East coast back in the spotlight. Here is Nawrot’s final entry into 2014’s Kayak Session Short Film of the Year Awards.