Pat on the Back for Pack Raft Founder: Alpacka Releases Trailer for New Film “Sheri”

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Alpacka pack raft founder Sheri Tingey defied the odds by starting a company at age 50 that has revolutionized the outdoor industry.

To pay her tribute, the company created a film currently touring the film festival circuit giving her kudos for founding the entire pack raft movement sweeping the paddlesports industry.

“We created this film to honor Sheri and celebrate Alpacka Raft’s 20th Anniversary,” says Alpacka marketing director Emily Doig. “We’re thrilled by the excitement around this film and are excited to announce that it has been accepted into several film festivals around the world.”

The film is a story about the hurdles Sheri overcame to launch the company, and the ways she hid from view so that people would judge her products fairly, not the role she played in making them. “It’s the story of her son, Thor Tingey, Alpacka’s current president who has built the company alongside his mother, but has only recently begun to fully grasp what she has created not just for him, but for adventurers who’ve used the boats to access remote and wild rivers around the world,” she says.

She adds that Sheri’s story is also an evergreen and widely universal story about missed opportunities—not by Sheri, or other women—but by outdoor adventurists and the industry as a whole – when we only listen to ideas, celebrate advances, and invite innovations from a select few. “At this watershed moment of reckoning around equity and inclusion for the industry, for the lifestyle, Sheri’s life story will both warm audiences, and ask them to grapple with important questions about who belongs.”

alpacka
Sheri, working on another pioneering pack raft.
Building a Better Boat

Thor Tingey had just finished a 39-day, 700-mile traverse of Alaska’s Brooks Range when he asked his mom, Sheri, to build him a better boat than the hypothermia-creating piece of vinyl he was paddling. He and his trip partners had a heck of a time on their trip, with multiple gear failures keeping them on the verge of catastrophe. “Our M.O. was we would paddle until one of us starts slurring his speech,” Thor says. Never in a million years did anyone realize that Thor’s request would revolutionize the outdoor industry and lead to the start of Alpacka Raft, a company that would become the industry’s leading packraft manufacturer.

“We set out to create a 20th Anniversary film for Alpacka raft that morphed into a love letter documentary for our founder, Sheri,” says Doig. “We kept that all a surprise to her. Although she took part in the filming, she had no idea the film was actually about her and her 60 years as a pioneer in the outdoor industry. She arrived at Telluride’s Mountainfilm to watch a few films, knowing there was a film that had something to do with Alpacka, but had no clue this film was a documentary about her life.”

View Trailer Here:

Behind the Scenes

Featuring: Sheri Tingey, Thor Tingey, Sarah Tingey, Waylon Tingey, John Baker, Roman Dial, Dustin Partridge, Tyler Bradt
Director: James ‘Q’ Martin
Director of Photography and Editor: Tom Attwater
Art Director, Design and Animation: Laura Kottlowski
Writers: James ‘Q’ Martin, Tom Attwater, Page Buono
Field Audio: Jim Hurst, Nelson Klein
Producers: Emily L. Doig, Jayme Dittmar, Sheila Smithson
Music:Portugal. The Man

Upcoming Viewing Opportunities:

While the full film will be released to the public after the film festival tour, catch it at these upcoming locations:

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