RUNNING TIME: Approx 50 mins
WORDS ? Jim Gaunt
Ben Wilson has been on a mission over the last couple of years to collect footage for a series of DVDs that his company benwilsonsurf.com will release in association with ace surf film-men, Bruce Exton and Shannon Stent. The Smack wave riding instructional DVD is the teams' second offering after last year's stunning action flick, The Unknown Road.
And it's a pacey little number, providing you with a seat-of-your-pants introduction to all things wavey. Tightly edited and produced, there's enough amazing action clips in the opening credits to get you frothing for the info. The information, although quite basic, is delivered in quick, engaging hits, and as my little rookie kiting Smack guinea pig said, 'It really makes you want to get out and try wave riding!' Ben covers gear selection tips to suit your riding, including the differences between C, bow and hybrid kites and their relative merits as well as line set-ups and surfboard sizes. There is vital information on rights of way, weather, breaks, swell, currents and tidal effects on waves and your safety. The main focus of the DVD is on actually shredding the waves, the science is kept to a minimum, and after a short while Ben's straight into explaining the mechanics of a bottom turn. Although there's a lack in information on basic surfboard skills such as gybing, this DVD takes the approach that surfing is all about feeling the wave and a lot to do with the subtle changes in body-position and weight. The DVD arms you with the knowledge of what you're aiming to be able to do and includes tips on how to achieve your goals. It's more of a motivational tool rather than a definitive guide to becoming a programmed wave rider. Basically crammed with little tip after useful little tip Ben takes you through to floaters, reos and airs. Smack gives you all the basic knowledge you need to be safe and gives you the confidence to know when and when not to go out. This really is an instructional to enjoy as well as learn from and show your surfing buddies because the quality of the camera work is second-to-none, with water shots and heli-shots seamlessly linked together to give you a diverse and entertaining range of angles to watch the moves.
Smack was featured in Issue #33.
Click here to watch clips of this DVD:
Teaser 1, Teaser 2, Teaser 3