Amazing Vintage Film Kids Took of Own Adventures

Readers — I am no daredevil. In fact, I’m actually sorry the words “extreme” and “sports” even met.

BUT I am dazzled by the fact that this skbnkfyydk
footage exists
: The childhood adventures of several kids who went on to found or pioneer “sports” like bungee jumping and God knows what else.

As The (Australian) Daily Mail explains:

Growing up, [Clive] Neeson and his ‘oddball friends’ created an early version of snowboarding – grabbing some wood and sliding along the hilly slopes – windsurfing and hang gliding, long before their popularisation into main stream sports and filming it all along the way.

Here’s some of the vintage footage he gathered for his film, “Last Paradise.”

Today, Neeson still does all sorts of sports, but he’s also a bona fide physicist. Gee, it couldn’t possibly be that when kids feel the wind in their hair and the sun on their cheeks they want to know more about velocity and the elements and light and sound, could it?

Oh, right. It could. But…didn’t all that time wasted enjoying life and building character take time away from homework? – L

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8 Responses to Amazing Vintage Film Kids Took of Own Adventures

  1. Edward September 17, 2014 at 10:53 am #

    Really encouraging that the filmmaker plans on showing this in schools and, I’m guessing, being there to talk with people afterwards.
    I had a super8 camera as a teenager and tried a lot of unconventional techniques with it – most failed due to lack of mechanical ability on my part but it was great fun trying and I always learned something from the experience.
    I’ll admit to being kind of lazy and sedentary the past few years but on impulse, I bought a small “action sports” camera earlier this year. I spent five weeks this summer exploring its new (and my 56 year old) capabilities with it. Now I don’t think I’ll have enough time to have all the fun I have planned for the best little toy I’ve ever had.
    Kids and cameras – watch out world!

  2. Edward September 17, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

    Explored the Last Paradise website and found this 10 min vid:

    that particularly pertains to Free Range Kids philosophy.
    (sorry, not sure how to make the embed thing work properly).

  3. Dee September 17, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

    I read something once about daredevil kids and how you should target their desire for extremes rather than banning them. They used snowboarder Shaun White and skiier Bode Miller as examples of parents who appropriately targeted the behavior. The other extreme (which is what the article was about) were kids who grab on to moving vehicles while on skateboards or go car surfing (standing or laying on moving cars). I thought it made a lot of sense.

  4. Loreen September 17, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    As much as I love the freedom these kids had to be out in nature, some of that footage would make me have a heart attack in real life. I hope my kids inherit my vertigo and stick to swimming, hiking, and playing outside without taking all those crazy risks. There is free range parenting and then there is “don’t climb 100 foot trees without safety gear” common sense. I actually lost a friend in my teens who jumped from a waterfall, hit his head on a rock under the water, and died. So seeing that footage is less romantic and more terrifying for me.

  5. hineata September 17, 2014 at 5:30 pm #

    Ooh, loved that shot of Mt Taranaki in the background, and the tyre rolling! Surely you guys get into that…

    I was not a daredevil, by any stretch of the imagination, but even I did half of those things. And my kids do too. As long as you check the depth first, jumping off banks and cliffs is really, really cool. So is clambering over rocks and sand ‘swimming’ :-).

    There are still rocks and trees to climb, rivers to swim in, beaches to roll around in, tractors and jeeps to be dragged behind, all over the world, not just NZ. Let’s get back out there.

    Thanks, Lenore! This has inspired me for summer :-).

  6. Ann in L.A. September 17, 2014 at 5:41 pm #

    I’ve long had the suspicion that the rise in extreme sports was caused by the shackles we are putting on our kids; they become desperate for risk.

  7. Charlotte September 17, 2014 at 5:45 pm #

    Love the guy talking about learning how to fall — my grandmother was a fabulous horsewoman — rode everything as a younger woman, played polo with the men, took her saddle all the way to Ireland to ride with the Galway hunt — and as a very old lady, it served her well. She fell a lot as a very old woman, but didn’t hurt herself.
    We did nutball stuff as kids — riding ponies bareback, cruising all over the woods behind our farm, climbing the silo to get on the barn roof, tying handles to bikes and towing one another on skateboards, tubing several miles down a small river and hitchiking back (figuring no one was going to hurt 7 wet kids with tubes, we met a lot of hippies with vans that summer).
    Knowing how to fall has come in handy a few times — that weird thing that happens when the adrenaline kicks in and time seems to slow down. Only happens when you really need that time, so good to know what’s going on.

  8. Kathy September 18, 2014 at 11:46 am #

    I’m dying to see this movie. Any idea if it is available anywhere in western Canada?