30 November 2009
Larry Gray at the Australian Sea Kayak Symposium
Larry Gray and Tess
Australian Sea Kayak Symposium, Currumbin, Qld.
“When we become one with the sea, a primal part of ourselves is released. We recover that instinct all human beings shared before we distanced ourselves from the living world around us. Ironically we feel more empowered by leaving behind all of the props of the modern world.
Perhaps, that is why so many seek the simplicity of the kayak. It is the ultimate craft for merging with the ocean, for understanding its moods and surrendering to its dynamism. When we enter the ocean in a sea kayak, we combine with a greater force. We start to understand who we truly are and what we are capable of.”
Renowned Australian sea kayak adventurer, award winning documentary maker and Pittarak sea kayak designer Larry Gray was the guest presenter at the 2009 Australian Sea Kayak Symposium.
Relatively unknown in Queensland’s sea kayaking community, Larry impressed everyone with his unpretentious behaviour. His skills workshops were extremely popular after the opening night audience were kept spellbound during his presentation. Sharing his experiences honestly and with unrestrained physical animation, Larry entertained while his documentarys amazed. Tales of close calls, ingenious gear fixes and an implicit acceptance of indigenous ways, offered an insight into this unaffected man.
Larry’s style might be considered unorthodox in some sea kayaking circles, but it would be a mistake to underestimate him as a sea kayak adventurer or documentary maker.
His first kayak expedition in the 1970's began as 2 mates going for a paddle -that lasted 6 months Mallacoota to Torres Strait Island. During his documentary making career, Larry has captured incredible vision surfing through storms and breathtaking images from his 1980's expedition to Greenland.
His partner Producer Mary O’Malley and son often travel with Larry to remote locations and feature in some of his documentaries.
His continuing passion for indigenous communities and kayaking adventures ensures his life remains the proverbial ‘Boys Own Adventure’. In fact Larry’s boyish charm is evident during his demonstration of the difficult ‘Stealth Roll’.
Larry Gray 'Stealth Roll'
Larry Gray is no ‘show pony’. During workshops he demonstrates only some of his incredible paddle and boat control skills. While he obviously advocates paddler safety and injury prevention, he doesn’t say that what he does is the only way to sea kayak, or his tools (euro paddle and Pittarak kayak) are the only tools to use.
Hopefully this is only the first of many visits to Qld for Larry.
To find out more about Larry, purchase his documentarys or contact Larry Gray and Mary O’Malley visit Pittarak Sea Kayaks