The Outside Blog

Dispatches : Nov 2010

5 Tips for Making an Adventure Documentary

By J.J. Kelley

Perhaps you want to create a YouTube video of your cat riding a vacuum robot. Maybe you want to make an insightful feature-length film that will tug at the hearts of your viewers. Both are examples of a documentary, and that’s the beauty of documentary films: your options are limitless. But if you want more people than your mom to watch what you make, it's important to know the tricks of the trade.

Here are my top 5 tips to creating a compelling documentary film:

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Surfers Paddle Out for Andy Irons

Credit:© ASP / CESTARI
The ASP and Rip Curl decided to cancel today's Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico, postponing the next round until Friday, November 5. Instead, competitors paddled out in memory of three-time ASP champ Andy Irons.

A number of surfers shared their thoughts on Irons.

“My thoughts are with Bruce and Lyndie and their parents and all of his many friends around the world,” Slater said. “It's a huge and far too premature loss for all of us. He was the most intense competitor I've ever known and one of the most sensitive people. He had so much life left in him and it hurts to think about. We look forward to his memory living on with our memories of him and his child on the way. There are a lot of uncles awaiting his arrival. I really miss Andy. He had a really good heart."
--Kelly Slater

“It was good having the paddle-out, getting everyone together,” Fanning said. “We're a surfing family. We all look out for each other. Just for us to paddle out and show our respects to Andy, to his family, to all his friends on Kauai and Hawaii - it's good. We are all hurting right now and we're just wanting to pay our respects.”
--Mick Fanning

"I think that the biggest thing is that we're thankful for so much,” Hobgood said. “I'm thankful to be a surfer because we are family and I'm thankful to be a part of Andy's family. I've traveled with him since I was 12 years old. Just the person that he was, it made me a better person. It made everyone around him a better person."
-- C.J. Hobgood

“We didn't see the guys that often on Tour, but Andy in particular is one of the most beautiful human-beings,” Gilmore said. “Such an incredible competitor, but always so gentle and so kind. Always gave you the time of day. No matter where you were or how busy he was, he'd stop and say hi and ask how you were going. He's going to be really really missed by everyone.”
--Stephanie Gilmore

--Joe Spring

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Remembering Andy Irons

News continues to come out about the death of Andy Irons. Reports of dengue fever and a methadone overdose are both swirling around the web. We'll continue to keep you updated. Until we know more, here's a short list of of what surfers who knew Irons had to say about his death.

"I talked to Phil [Irons], I talked to Bruce [Irons] -- everyone's just crying. I was surfing Mavericks with Shane [Dorian] and everyone else and saw all these missed calls. My girlfriend called and said Andy had died. I didn't return these calls because I didn't want to drive and cry at the same time. Everyone on Kauai is crying right now."
--Surfer Reed McIntosh, ESPN

Irons                    Credit:© ASP / CESTARI

"I think in the contemporary age that Andy Irons is the best competitive surfer that Hawaii has produced, since the start of the pro tour back in the mid seventies," Triple Crown Director Randy Rarick said.
--Triple Crown Director Randy Rarick, KGMB

Screen shot 2010-11-03 at 8.51.03 AM
"The kind of surfing he did was so creative and so different from any other surfer. He was real fluid, but real powerful at the same time. When he was on, I don't think anybody could match him."
--Surfer Evan Valiere, People

"Andy is definitely going out a legend," said Rainos Hayes, who surfed against Irons in professional contests, and also coached him on the Billabong-sponsored team. "There isn't anybody who can question that Andy is by far the best surfer to come out of Hawaii in modern-day history. He changed competitive surfing as we know it for the next generation."
-- Surfer Rainos Hayes, Honolulu Star Advertiser

To learn more about Andy Irons, read the following.

Last Drop, By Brad Melekian for Outside Magazine
Andy Irons, 1978 - 2010, ESPN
When a Man Loves a Rival, NYT
My Favorite Andy Moments, SurferMag

--Joe Spring

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The Gear Junkie Scoop: Columbia Sportswear 2011

Columbia - Heated Jacket 3 copyBy Stephen Regenold

With strong words and pointed language aimed at the outdoors industry, big promises on new technology, and theatrical skaters twirling amid spotlights on synthetic ice at an events center in the meatpacking district of New York City, Columbia Sportswear Company of Portland, Ore., this week announced its plans to become "the most innovative company in the outdoors."

The big claim, recited onstage by a Columbia VP during a media launch party, set the tone for a night of product unveilings that included heated outerwear and gloves, base layers lined with a grid of metallic dots, a new and proprietary waterproof-breathable membrane for jackets, and a promise to "take down Gore-Tex and other dinosaurs in the industry that stopped trying a long time ago."

The spicy rhetoric and insider polemics are part of a plan by Columbia to reboot a company that's slouched toward commoditization and complacency in recent years. And those are words from the company itself, not me. "We're calling bullshit on old and bad technology -- even if it's our own," said an executive at the event, which I attended this week along with a couple dozen additional media people from the United States and abroad.

What's all the fuss about?

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Is it Safe to Down an Energy Drink While Exercising?

Redbull Energy drinks like Rockstar and Red Bull are dominating the US drink market. And just like the people they energize, they're not slowing down; sales of the super-caffeinated pick-me-ups are supposed to exceed nine billion dollars in 2011.

Studies have shown that energy drinks--in particular the caffeine found in them--aids athletic performance. But is it really a good idea to down an energy drink while exercising?

"One can of an energy beverage during one session of exercise is safe for most healthy individuals," said Dr. John Higgins, lead author of a study performed at The University of Texas Medical School in Houston. However, he told Medical News Today, "excess consumption and consumption with other caffeine-containing beverages or alcohol may lead to adverse effects and possibly death."

The Mayo Clinic says for an average person, ingesting 200-300 milligrams of caffeine per day won't cause any harm. While an average cup of drip coffee in the US has about 115 milligrams of caffeine per five-ounce serving, energy drinks can contain anywhere from 80 to 500 milligrams of caffeine in cans ranging between 8 and 32 ounces.  Pay attention to how big your energy drink is; while a serving is usually nothing to worry about, there may be several servings in a can.

Find out the caffeine content of what you're drinking.

--Erin Beresini
Photo courtesy of on Flickr

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