DBP: Peyton, you’re a legendary character in the close-knit East Coast river community, but for those unfamiliar with your fame, please tell us where you are from.
P-LOVE: Im not a legend, maybe a character… I moved to West Virginia 16 years ago to become a video boater.
DBP: When we think video boater we think P-Love. How did you get your start video boating?
P-LOVE: I started kayaking in Texas on the Guadalupe River. My friend Texas Ted moved to WV and told me I could be a video kayaker. I was like “get paid to kayak? Count me in!”
DBP: Some technical stuff… What’s your favorite video camera? What is your favorite boat to run a filming trip with? And you’ve been plying your trade for years… Can you tell us a bit about the old days before GoPros and waterproof cameras?
P-LOVE: I like my Sony camera, The Panasonic, shit I can’t remember what model… anyhow, we use them at work; they are all hard drive now. If you can hold a cam steady you can get good footage. A part of me misses how smooth tape was… O well move on.
I love the Project 62 to video kayak out of, it has enough room to carry gear and it is also a hell of a playboat. I would like something more modern but these still work great and you can pick them up cheap. The old days were a lot wilder than now, rafts use to go way bigger and there was a lot more action. We still have plenty of action, you just can’t be stupid anymore.
GoPros kind of have a purpose. They cannot replace good footage any day and they hurt the sales just a little… Lots of peeps with GoPros still want to buy the raw footage so they can mix a video to go on YouTube.
DBP: You’re also a bomber Class V boater, you have to be to shoot your work. What’s your favorite boat for a day of play? And where are you slipping away to play for that perfect fun run day?
P-LOVE: Thanks for the compliment… I don’t know about bomber, I do know I love to Kayak. It makes me smile to be in my yak yak… I like a lot of boats. I’ve used the Pyranha Everest for creeking for about 6 years, love that boat. I just got a Wave Sport Recon; super stable, great boofer, rolls good, turns great; a wee bit heavy and slow, and that round bottom – not sure about that. I like a planing hull better. For Play boating I still have a Project 62. It is such a great boat. Robert nailed it with this design. I also have a Dagger Jitsu. Its OK, could be a wee bit bigger.
Now, for the perfect play day you gots to go where your friends want to go, thats what makes it perfect: spending time on the water with the peeps you love.
DBP: Every boater who progresses to the Class V level knows we’re all in between swims. Can you tell us about your worst Wallace?
P-LOVE: Probably my worst swim was at Pillage and Plunder on Manns Creek. I screwed up the top drop, stuffed my bow under a tree, hand rolled off the tree, fliped on the next drop, missed my roll a second time, missed it again and saw I was running third drop upside down into Big Melt Down…held down so long I had to pull. I came up, got recirced, came back up, and my hero Robin’s bow was there for the rescue! It was a classic case of “I lost control at top and never regained it.”
DBP: I have NEVER had so much fun researching an interviewee! Your channel on YouTube can entertain a river porn aficionado for hours! What’s your single favorite piece and why?
P-LOVE: Hell that is a hard one… Probably a train wreck at Double Z’s. Its gotten the most hits and its everyones favorites. No props it was just real.
DBP: The very first footy that popped up when I searched Peyton Love was your Michael Phelps piece. Hilarious! I noticed you shared it under a few different names, but it’s the one with the most views by far. What do you attribute that to?
P-LOVE: One of my favorite guides always says at the top of Class V rapids, “If you’re going to swim, swim like Mike Phelps going for a smoking apparatus.” So I thought it would be funny to do a Phelps Tribute.
DBP: The 2014 Video Challenge Raft Crash is an awesome clip too, especially for professional boatmen who have been watching the Wallace hit the fan from downstream like that. Did you have that conceptualized or did that come to you on the fly?
P-LOVE: Most everything is on the fly. I wrote the song and recorded “Has anyone seen my shoe” for this clip.
DBP: You’ve done quite a few short humor skits. Watching them and laughing along, I’ll admit surprise that they hadn’t had more views. I highly recommend them to the reader chilling at home today calling it a done season, and put links to all of the clips I researched at the end of this article. Why do you think those pieces haven’t had more viewings?
P-LOVE: I dont know. People just don’t know about them and they are purty stupid I guess… maybe you can help change that. And all you good peeps out there! Give it a thumbs up or thumbs down and comment, you! Entertainment these days is about the comments!
DBP: The nature bits in particular are my favorites. What possessed you to mess with that snake? And I know when I’m out on a trip enjoying those quiet moments between the action I love seeing the beauty of the wildlife around me that so many others are missing because they’re engulfed by ‘surviving the rapids.’ What goes through your mind when you first spot, say, a bald eagle while out there?
P-LOVE: Did you know most snake bites in America are caused by people playing with snakes with too short a stick? I should not mess with them but its cool I guess. You can piss on a snake’s head if you want it to leave an area, you don’t have to kill them… Don’t get bit, I won’t be sucking the venom out. The other cool nature out on the river is awesome: the river otters are impossible to get footage of. There I s a lot of cool birds, and to see an eagle is Damn Cool.
DBP: You also get out there away from the commercial raft trips to shoot some pretty awesome kayaking footy. Pinch Creek and Big Sandy come to mind. Is this your favorite part of video boating – capturing those special places where the custys don’t go?
P-LOVE: I love all video boating: its a lot easier to stand on the shore and video a custy’s near death experience than a friend on the creek. A lot of times my friends bomb and there’s not much time to shoot. I have some die hard video boating friends that like to video the creeks, and I will have to say I do like to capture the special places most. I don’t have much footage of myself. I usually am the one with the camera… that’s OK, I dont vid for me I vid to share a cool experience.
DBP: Did you ever in your wildest dreams think that your SUP clip would be one of the most popular?
P-LOVE: The SUP clip I did for a friend, Pete Iscaro, the owner of Aquaholic Apparel – cool stuff he makes, check it out peeps . Anyhoo… no, had no idea… SUP! For real, for Pete’s Sake! It figures, everyone loves Pete.
DBP: What’s in store for P-Love in 2015?
P-LOVE: 2015? Hell I dont know… I’ll be Video Kayaking for sure! One day I’ll grow up…not till I have to.
DBP: Thanks for your time, bro, and keep charging hard and entertaining us!
For more videos, P-Love’s YouTube channel is: https://m.youtube.com/user/777PLove
“2014 Video Challenge Raft Crash”
“Peyton Best Rescue Jerking Off”
“Nature 2014 Video Boter Challenge”
“Kayak Pinch Creek”
“Stand up paddle boarding perfect wave Gauley River”