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First Ascent Adventurer Jesse Coombs Reflects on Kayak Film Tour
Posted on June 25, 2010

First Ascent caught up with kayaker and First Ascent adventurer Jesse Coombs at the end of the Hotel Charley Vol. 5 tour. In this interview, Jesse talks about promoting the film and lessons from the road.

First Ascent: How do you think the tour went? How has the response been?

Jesse: The film tour was amazing! We showed the film with Eddie Bauer First Ascent at two new festivals: Mountain Film Festival and Teva Mountain Games. There is more buzz about this year’s film than ever before.

Who comes out to see the film?

The audiences vary from the core whitewater enthusiast who is kayaking every weekend to the general public who is interested in seeing a new adventure. The common thread is that everyone loves to come out and see what crazy expeditions we’ve had.

What’s the best part about showing film?

The best part of showing the film is that people are genuinely appreciative of us sharing our passion with them. It honestly feels much more like we are sharing our film with our friends than to a bunch of strangers. Everyone is excited when they arrive at the show, they ask great questions and thanks us for coming. It feels nice to connect with people, even if it is just for the evening.

How is it to see all of your travel and hard work come to fruition on the screen?

Seeing it all put to 50 minutes on screen is both gratifying and surreal. We take a lot of pride in all the hard work and effort that goes into the expeditions as well as the film making, so we appreciate the audiences who have been so enthusiastic and appreciative.

How is being on the road for the film tour different from adventure travel?

Being on the road for the film tour is absolutely nothing like adventure travel. For expedition adventure travel we are constantly on the move looking for the next river to run and kayaking and filming as much as possible. On the film tour we are driving a set schedule for close to a month, spending almost all of our time in social settings while kayaking very little. We get inspired by the feedback on the film tour and by the end of it are anxious to get back to kayaking and camping at the rivers.

Since you’ve joined on with Eddie Bauer First Ascent have you seen the crowds change at all? How has having a sponsor like Eddie Bauer changed the reception you’re getting?

Since joining Eddie Bauer First Ascent we have seen the crowds increase and the venues get better and bigger. What has changed with sponsorship is the recognition associated with a leading outdoor apparel manufacturer. Eddie Bauer is a household name that signifies a love for the outdoors. Audiences immediately recognize that and see how we share that with the brand.

Does showing the film influence your desire to keep making them?

Showing the film on tour could be likened to the pat on the back you get when you have done a great job. We make the films to promote the sport first and foremost, but we definitely appreciate the support and positive reception we get when we tour the film and always look forward to the reward of sharing our adventures with the public.

Author: - Friday, June 25th, 2010
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