YETI Films portrays Maui waterwoman, outdoor people enduring extremes


A 270-mile kayak river race through an area with snakes and alligators might give many outdoor enthusiasts pause, but then you’re not Hawaiian water lady Lauren Spalding. A YETI movie featuring her and other extreme outdoors people will screen Wednesday at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.

Hawaiian waterwoman Lauren Spalding is among several sports extraordinaire featured in a nationwide film tour about extreme outdoor lifestyles.

Spalding, a resident of Kula, has won many boat races around the world.

The film, on an 11-city tour, will screen at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center Wednesday May 18at 20 hours

Winning takes more than endurance and technique, especially in the ocean where paddlers must understand and adapt to the wind, currents and waves and use the elements to their advantage.

She is a 12-time winner of the solo women’s Molokaʻi-Oʻahu 41-mile race, three-time winner of the Molokaʻi Surfski Championship, and first-place winner in the K-4 500-meter race at the 2004 Pan American Games.


She was also a semi-finalist in K-2 and K-4 at the 2004 Summer Olympics. Her team Bradley, competing in a six-woman canoe over 26 miles of ocean, won the Molokaʻi-to race -Oʻahu a dozen times.


In the short “River Pirates,” produced by sports equipment company YETI Films, Spalding ventures into the wilderness of the Guadalupe River in Texas, from its source at San Antonio Bay.

That’s 270 miles of paddling and sometimes carrying the kayak day and night. Mix snakes and alligators as part of the obstacle course.

No, it’s not an Olympic sport. The winner receives a trophy and bragging rights for a year.


“When I heard about it, it sounded so crazy that I wanted to do it,” Spalding said. “I wanted to do it, try it. It sounded so terrible.

Spalding referred to fellow paddler JT Van Zandt II as a “river pirate”, robbing the darkness of the nocturnal wilderness with a good sense of direction. He had raced several times.

“At night you don’t have a good lay of the land,” she said. “It was all the emotions. It was tough. It was beautiful. There were parts that were nerve-wracking. There’s no racing like that.

YETI Films seems to show that there aren’t people like the ones featured in this film either. It is a tribute to life and work in the open air.

Other profiles include a woman who, like her father, became a lobster boat captain, a storm chaser who shares a real behind-the-scenes look at her work, and Hawaiian surfer Emi Erickson who takes on legendary Maui surfing. . Jaws.

Ticket purchases can only be made online at

The MACC box office counters are currently closed for box office sales, but only open for pre-show ticket pickup. But using the print-at-home ticket office is recommended. The MACC box office is accessible for inquiries only via email at [email protected] or by phone at 808-242-SHOW, Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information on the film tour, visit

For a weekly list of Maui music and other events, go to Maui Entertainment, Arts, Community, May 12-May 18 and click here.


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