Contours, A Story of First Waves: A Passion for Paddling & an Enchantment for Watersheds

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A passion for stand up paddling, filmmaking & rivers together with an enchantment for watersheds creates Contours: A Story of First Waves, a film about protecting the environment. Watch this short, yet powerful film about inspiring community through watersports, by Rishi Sethi and Ian Smith.

Contours:  First Waves on Stonycreek River, Johnstown, PA

A search for standing waves and rivers led Ian Smith to Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Upon arrival, what he discovered was a polluted body of water and the inspiration to empower Johnstown’s citizenry to clean up their environment through the skills of paddle surfing & film. Watch this 9-minute film, Contours, A Story of First Waves, showcasing the most recent of First Waves’ initiatives to see the smiles first hand of kids experiencing the thrill of river surfing on Stonycreek River and learning that they can play an important role in protecting their city’s watersheds.

“If the raft is the harbinger of adventure, then riding a wave is the catalyst of conservation. The act itself is imbued with a need for harmony with the river.”

Storytelling is a profound way we inspire each other. Ian & crew collaborate with Johnstown’s passionate youth to plant trees along the riverbed and focus on the health of the watershed. Together, they create an incredible memory told through education and film while building a legacy to care for this river far into the future.

Learn more about First Waves at:

First Waves uses standup paddleboarding (SUP), the art of filmmaking, and digital media as a catalyst to inspire conservation of local waterways and mentorship for at-risk youth.

Film by Rishi Sethi and Ian Smith

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Evelyn O'Doherty, editor & publisher of the new Standup Journal 2.0 is a former school teacher gone rogue. She left her career as a teacher in order to spend more time near or on the water after learning to surf turned her life around (upsidedown?). She is a year-round surfer and paddler living on the eastern tip of Long Island in NY who is a certified SUP instructor, seasoned SUP racer and avid longboard surfer. Evelyn was hired as Online Editor to Standup Journal in 2016. Her passion for the project quickly led to her success and eventually taking over the mag herself in Oct. 2018. Today, as editor, publisher and chief bottle washer at Standup Journal, Evelyn keeps her toes wet writing, traveling, paddling, surfing, and learning to foil. You can find her most days paddling out on Gardiner's Bay or surfing Ditch Plains in Montauk, NY.