STANDING STRONG 2
Wipika was a victim of its own success. The company pretty much launched kiteboarding back in the late nineties, but the sport's phenomenal growth left Wipika with its wheels spinning on the grass as it frantically tried to keep up with the big financial engines of its better financed competitors. But with the arrival of new management in 2001, Wipika have steadily rebuilt their image around solid products and a reputation for innovation. A trump card has to be the strength of the team, and this is played to great effect in Standing Strong 2 to show Wipika back on top form.
Choosing to play Mafia dons to string a plot through a shoot in Sardinia, the end result could easily have looked like a kindergarten Bugsy Malone, but instead it's a frequently hilarious insight into the various characters that make up the Wipika team.
THE OPENING GAMBIT:
World speed record holder Manu Taub is led blindfolded into a Sardinian Mafioso stronghold, where Sebastian Catellan, Mauricio Abreu, Alex Tritten, Alvaro Onieva, Marcelo Cunha and Laurel Eastman await, displaying varying levels of menace. At one point Mauricio pops his head around the door with a blood-stained carving knife, but his pony tail, pinny and prim accent lend him all the ruthlessness of Aunt May offering to bake afternoon scones. Alex gets the most acting points, closely followed by Laurel, who does a very good Marilyn Monroe.
THE JUMP-OFF-YOUR-SEAT MOMENT:
Alvaro Onieva loses his board mid handlepass and comes in hot over the beach, first on his arse, then on his toes, his legs windmilling through the sand. Then the 17-year-old casually walks back into the frame, like nothing ever happened. It'd be two years of physio for the rest of us.
THE 'ACTUALLY, I'M QUIETLY IMPRESSED WITH THIS' MOMENT:
Mauricio's smooth-as wave riding segment: cut backs, off-the-lips, aerials - you name it (and please do, my surf glossary's not that great), the boy can do it, and when the section switches to free surfing, I barely the change in riding style was imperceptible.
THE 'WHAT THE HELL?' MOMENT:
Footage from Manu Taub's 40.5 knot world speed record in Fuerteventura. A howling offshore gale is whipping the beach into a sandstorm, and the camera diligently tracks across the desolate scene as Manu, helmeted like an NFL player, screams along at Mach 3 tearing up a 10 ft wall of water behind him. And there, in the middle of all this madness, is sat an elderly holidaymaker, glued obstinately to his deck chair, sunhat secured with string, not letting the fact that sand is blasting his face with the ferocity of an angle grinder spoil his two week break in the Canaries.
SO WOULD I BUY IT?
It's free, so no need. Standing Strong 2 is a nicely varied DVD with rails, waves, new skool freestyle, wakestyle and even a few wedgies, way ahead in terms of quality than most other freebies. Go get 'em kids.-HM
Standing Strong 2 was featured in Issue #14.
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