BY: Visual Performers
RUNNING TIME: approx. 55 minutes plus bonus sections
WORDS ? Rob Darling
'Six Riders, Six styles. One goal. Being the Best'
Close Up features six riders who want to be the best in the world (well, one already is world champion). It is an action movie showing where we are in kiteboarding at the moment. Neatly split into sections including, 'Do Pros Crash?', 'Riding Big Waves', 'Developing New tricks', 'Riding with the Boys' etc. it starts with a brief history that includes some interesting stills and concludes with...'The Future', which was almost going to be...lunch. This format gives you a broad overview of many of kiteboarding's aspects. There are plenty of tricks and shots of the pros learning, some big waves, some crashes and even a few opinions.
One of the early sections includes crashes and this is what we want. As much as we like a big move landed cleanly, there is something special about seeing a pro dangling upside down from his leash or getting bounced on landing. This is something we can really relate to. But as Ruben Lenten says, 'You learn from crashes. Lots of crashes!' And so we do, some just learn quicker than others.
Each section has comments from the riders, plus Robby Naish and the PKRA Race Director Olaf van Tol. I was waiting for some juice when they had the opportunity to give their opinion on the others riding, but alas, no. The only sniff being Robby Naish quickly retracting 'He's a prick.' about Kevin Langeree. On the subject of style and competitions, there is a brief discussion on the merits of big air versus power and the possibility of including compulsory board-offs. Touchy subject!
A large proportion is filmed in Cape Town, which means the freestylers have to face up to the big waves down Cape Point. This is the highlight for me, maybe because this is the riding I'm most interested in, but also because I rode those waves a few years ago, and I too had to jump endless walls of '10ft white water' just to get out the back. The power of the Southern Ocean waves pumping in looks awesome.
Overall it is the variety that makes Close Up work. It is a good DVD that leaves you wanting to get out and improve your riding, whether it be in waves or freestyle (sorry sliders junkies ? no rails here). It also gives some interesting background on the pro riders.
The bonus section includes a Kevin Langeree profile, Venezuela, Aaron Hadlow's South African training lake and big air as well as Ruben Lenten's trip to see one of his sponsors.
Close Up was featured in Issue #34.
Click here to watch a clip of this DVD