The Young Guns are the rave of whitewater kayaking these days. Maybe that’s because they’re going off the hardest? Whether it’s Tyler Bradt setting a world waterfall record or Anthony Yap inventing another new freestyle move, they’re getting it done. And getting it all on film. Paddling Life recently caught up with producer Rush Sturges to talk about their new releases including Source and State of the Art.
PL: Why the two different features this go around? What’s the main difference between them?
RS: Some people want more information in a kayak flick, while others want standard kayak porn. I think Source balances both evenly, while State of the Art is straight-up for the children.
PL:Which was more fun to produce?
RS:Both films share some of the same footage and were super fun to make. I think Source is the “bread and butter”, while SOTA is appealing to our core audience. Hopefully there’s something on the discs for everyone to be happy with.
PLDoes focusing on “lifestyle” mean the Young Guns are going soft?
RS: Watch the films and judge for yourself.
PL: What sets these apart from other YGP flicks?
RS: These were a lot more work for sure. We’re trying to develop a better story while maintaining the fast paced “action” elements. I think we found a good balance although we could always do better. My favorite addition this time is the quantity of original music in the flick. I think there are eight original pieces. It was cool being involved with the Source theme song. Also there’s 1 1/2 hours of content which is a lot more then our other films.
PL: What paddler went off the biggest?
RS: Tyler has been pretty damn lucrative lately. Also Anthony Yap on the freestyle front, Charlie Center and Evan “The Youngster” Garcia in California.
PL: What was the worst carnage/beat-down during filming?
RS: Probabbly me. I had a pretty epic swim on Upper Cherry two seasons ago which is maybe the closest call in the film. Alexandra was also equally as sketch. There is some great carnage no doubt. Ian Garcia’s head hit off a 55-footer is rugged as well. Charlie takes it a fair bit as does Evan. Tyler lands on his face off a 70-footer. Pretty much everyone has some good hits this year!
PL: How’s the sponsorship atmosphere these days?
RS: Not easy that’s for sure. We managed to pull it together and we’re thankful for the companies that helped us out. I think it’s been a rough season on most of the industry and if the economy continues the way it is, I can only see kayaking continuing to struggle. That’s why you should BUY our movie and stop burning it. I understand it’s expensive for dirt bag boaters but if you want to see more movies order it at
PL: Where are the Young Guns heading this spring/summer?
RS: I’m actually in Africa right now finishing up almost three months of traveling. At the moment, I’m just looking forward to going home. After that it’s going to be a wicked season in Cali and hopefully Canada as well.
Check out Sturges’ Africa tour here.
Nothing like a good tease.