Raised on the banks of California’s Salmon River, Rush Sturges began developing his skills as a whitewater kayaker from the age of 10. After winning the Junior World Championships of freestyle kayaking, Rush turned Pro and began touring the world straight out of high school. Along the way, Rush documented his adventures with his friends, developing a passion for filmmaking. To date, Rush has created nine award winning whitewater kayaking films and has honed his skills on location in some of the planet’s wildest places, from Pakistan to Patagonia to the Democratic Republic of Congo. In addition to his Documentary films, Rush has also directed commercials and produced content for clients such as National Geographic, Red Bull, Toyota, GoPro, and the Mexican Board of Tourism. After a one year stint in film school at the Art Institute in Vancouver B.C., Rush went on to found River Roots, a media production house based in his adopted hometown of White Salmon, Washington.
We caught up with Rush for 5 minutes and 13 questions, or about the time it takes to share a beer with him.
What do you love about adventure?
Adventure forces me into that uncomfortable space of the unknown. It requires me to push through the barriers of fear and doubt. These barriers are both physical and mental. It’s not always easy, but it’s almost always rewarding once you break through the other side!
How has adventure shaped who you are today?
Adventure, and kayak exploration specifically, have provided me with the most intense and beautiful experiences of my life. It’s impossible to imagine being where I’m at without them in my life.
What’s your biggest fear (on an expedition, in life)?
My biggest fear is somehow letting my team down.
What’s your dream adventure you have yet to live?
I still have some stuff in the Himalayas I’d like to do!
What is your favorite backyard adventure destination?
Little White Salmon River.
What is your favorite domestic adventure destination?
Middle Kings River, California.
What is your favorite international adventure destination?
What’s the destination you’d go back to in a heartbeat?
What is your favorite piece of gear under $100?
Astral Flip Flops.
What piece of gear do you take on every adventure?
What is the biggest mistake you made as an amateur outdoor enthusiast or athlete?
Haha, probably becoming friends with Tyler Bradt and Brad Ludden.
What is your #1 piece of advice for adventure novices?
Get outside and do it!
What’s an obscure fact or story about yourself that people wouldn’t believe?
I attended Circus Camp as a child.