At the age of two months old, Shon Bollock was introduced to the river – and he has been kayaking ever since. When Shon’s not in school, he’s chasing white water throughout the world, capturing epic GoPro footage and editing for the new Shasta Boyz Productions’ film, Slippery When Wet. Alongside some of the other best kayakers in the world, Bollock is featured in this movie that will take viewers throughout the United States, Mexico, Hawaii, and Japan. GoPro recently had the chance to catch up with Shon to learn more about his trip to Japan for the film, his passion for kayaking and Shon’s GoPro story.
GoPro: When and how did you first hook up with GoPro?
About five years ago I was introduced to the GoPro team at the Outdoor Retailer tradeshow. At that time, GoPro had their first model. It was a wrist camera for surfing but I knew the product was going to explode into much more because of the sheer enthusiasm the team had and the vision that they described. I’ve watched it evolve from initially being a surf camera into the ultimate camera for all activities. It’s amazing how fast the company has killed it!
GoPro: What is your favorite way to mount the camera?
I would have to say that I really love the tail mount looking forward at the back of the kayaker – a standard POV. I also think the helmet cam mount is awesome because I can really demonstrate the feeling I get when riding over a waterfall. It gives the person watching an automatic perception of what I’m experiencing.
GoPro: If you could create one unique customized mount, what would it be?
I’m so glad you asked. I’ve been thinking about this for quite some time. It’s called the scorpion tail. It’s a pole attached off of a life jacket, directed upwards looking down at the kayaker, creating bird’s eye view. That would be sick!
GoPro: What other activities do you enjoy using the GoPro for?
I like using it for basic point and shoot stills – mounting it on mountain bikes, even bottles, anything you can imagine the HERO being used for – I’ve tried it! I think the biggest advantage of GoPro’s camera is that it’s something that both consumers and athletes alike can use.
GoPro: How has GoPro helped further your career?
Any athlete’s career gets easier when assisted and amplified through footage, social networks and publicity. I’ve been able to share my experiences around the world because of GoPro’s cameras. GoPro has been a huge supporter of all of my achievements.
GoPro: What do you feel after you’ve seen the footage? Do you use it to improve your performance?
Excitement! To be able to film the experience from my point of view and then get to relive the feeling is like having my own personal virtual guidebook of the kayaking that we do. GoPro allows me to carry on that experience and share it with my friends and fans so that they get to see the classic nature of my adventures from my point of view –this heightens the entire experience.
GoPro: What was it like going to Japan right after the disaster?
It was a weird situation. We had the trip planned before the tsunami and wrestled with whether or not we should proceed with the trip. At the time, there was a lot of fear about going to Japan because of the melt down. We thought if in some small way we could help out, we should go. We saw the footage and photos from all the devastation, but we couldn’t fully understand the magnitude of the destruction. The team and I had seven days of exploring and shooting. We were also able to help with some of the local clean up efforts. Being there in person helped us realize how shocking it really was. We only experienced a small amount of the devastation, but even that contact really shook us up. As the film will show, we got some amazing footage and we got to experience how absolutely awesome the people and the culture of Japan are. It was a once in a lifetime experience – and the footage we captured was staggering!
GoPro: Where do you plan on traveling next?
I’d like to stick to somewhere warm like Mexico but the draw of some other true boating meccas like Chile, Iceland and Norway are luring.