Squirt boaters occupy a peculiar cult in the world of kayaking
— those who live to go down beneath surface of the water rather than trying to stay upright above it.
NRS celebrates this bastion of the breath-holding, lung-busting boating underworld with the world premiere of the new NRS film, “The Mystery,” airing Oct. 17 during this year’s 5Point Adventure Film Festival, being held Oct. 14-18. While this year’s virtual festival exhibits more than 55 adventure short films, woven together with hosts, filmmakers, and special guest cameos, none sink to the depths of “The Mystery,” commemorating those oxygen-deprived kayakers who push the envelope of downtime, emerging with chests aching but smiles breaking .
“You just feel like you belong wherever you’re going,”says squirt boat pioneer Jim Snyder. “But you can’t tell where you’re going, and you don’t know what it’s gonna be like when you get there. You just have this feeling like, it’s gonna be okay.”
“And if you keep your eyes open, it’s gonna be really beautiful,” he adds. “It’s just a perfect waste of time.”
Uncomfortable boats not meant to float but designed to sink
Film Description: There’s a subculture of kayaking known by few and understood by fewer. The paddlers don diving goggles and neoprene and slide into thin, uncomfortable boats not meant to float but designed to sink. Below the waterline, their goal is to stay underwater as long as they can. This is squirt boating. After squirt boating’s heyday in the early 1990s, the scene has all but disappeared. But when it comes to the history of squirt boating, the legend starts with Jim Synder. NRS, with filmmakers Tommy Penick and Forest Woodward, created The Mystery which offers a rare glimpse into this obscure sport and the dedicated few who continue to keep the tradition alive.
“The early 90s were the heyday of squirt boating. Squirt boaters were everywhere,”says filmmaker and boater John Grace. “And then all of a sudden, they were just gone.”
Well, now they’re back, with the debut of The Mystery.