Bryan Smith & Lise-Anne Beyries’ new Eastern Horizons Sea Kayaking DVD is a slick, beautifully put together portrayal of the sea kayaking life along the east coast of North America. Eastern Horizons will inspire paddlers to rush outside to load their boat on the car the second the credits roll. The fact is, the only people who will find any fault in Eastern Horizons are those in the “business” or those of us who’ve simply been around too long.
Eastern Horizons takes us on a journey from the Icebergs of Newfoundland to the salt marshes of Tybee Island, Georgia. Along the way we are immersed in beautiful destinations, amazing wildlife, interesting people and every state of salt water one could imagine. There are bits that will inspire you to get out and explore the east coast by sea kayak and there are bits that will scare the shorts off of any sane paddler. I could go on and describe every moment, person or destination but padding it out seems un-necessary. If you’re into sea kayaking you’ll want Eastern Horizons. Bryan has produced a great one. Right on formula.
To an extent that’s what made it hard to sit down with the intent to review Eastern Horizons. It’s great. Well shot, good music, and all the rest as I said. Of course I never doubted that it would be. If anything Eastern Horizons is the slickest sea kayaking video to date. Unlike some other reviews I’ve read of the DVD, I dig the music. But I do think there is a message in those occasional comments about the music and that’s what I came away with.
My feeling is that anyone fairly new to sea kayaking will watch Eastern Horizons with all the starry eyed wonder of someone just coming into the sport. It will also raise the bar in what is expected technically from sea kayaking DVDs in the future. The issue if there is one, will be with the old dogs. Certainly it’s great to visit and sometimes revisit popular destinations, shops & personalities around the world. In fact in our small community many of the faces we see in the videos are instructors we’ve learned from, people we’ve followed in the magazines or blogs, and sometimes simply friends that we paddle with. The DVDs let us touch base. Yet there is to my mind a growing sense of Déjà vu as some destinations are revisited or paddlers repeat the, “I love sea kayaking because it brings me so close to nature.” mantra all to the beat of hip indie-bands. I love watching sea kayaks blasting in and out of eddies and getting trashed in big waves and yet I get a sense of “been there” recently that surely has much more to do with the reviewer the production. I realized why companies don’t throw marketing bucks at 40-somethings and beyond.. we’re starting feel like we’ve seen it all. On the other hand 40-somethings are a major part of the sea kayaking audience. There’s probably a friendly challenge in there somewhere. 😉
In the end I walked away thinking Eastern Horizons was the best looking of the genre to date. Bryan & Lise-Anne should be proud of this one. So, if you’re not a crusty old sea kayaker who still wears wool sweaters and wellies when you paddle, go on, get your copy of Eastern Horizons it will as they say, rock your world!
*oh, and please note I think Brian’s pretty cool and work with him on web stuff occasionally if you’d like to bang me for bias.. go for it!