BY: Slingshot International in association with Shannon Stent
RUNNING TIME: Approximately 38 minutes
WORDS ? Jim Gaunt
The second of our cinematic extravaganzas is Ben Wilson's first solo video project, The Unknown Road. Exquisitely filmed from helicopter, water and land, punctuated by imaginative time-lapse photography and stitched together seamlessly by Shannon Stent, there's as much to behold in the way elements of nature have been captured as well as the brash wave riding action.
We've all heard about Ben Wilson's journey to find the best waves in the world, and this film is really a celebration of the highlights so far since his decision to do his own project, taking in the waves of Tahiti, Australia, Fiji, New Caledonia, Micronesia and Indonesia. Ben is determined to make it OK to back-side wave ride, and whatever your view, the level he's got to is well illustrated alongside his impressive footage of his regular surfing ability. Ben makes it look easy, until you remember that it's all strapless. You find yourself thinking, 'I could do that.' And it's not until you get out there and trip over the first bit of chop that you realise Ben deserves his own DVD.
Ben's own shenanigans are well broken-up with clips of his friends, the stand-outs of whom being Aussie shredders Joel Becus and Ryland Blakeney. Surfing is in the blood Down Under, and these guys cut their proverbial skin time after time, gushing fantastic eruptions of style and flow in every clip they appear. Very inspirational indeed, even more so when you remember they're doing it in average mushy wind swell which most of us are regularly faced with.
Overall the DVD is a good watch, and has good replay-ability which further encouraged thanks to a great soundtrack, featuring Muse, Bloc Party, Gorillas, The Killers and more. Dialogue is kept to a comfortable minimum and while there aren't as many big hits as you might like, The Unknown Road is a good indication of where surfing in fun waves rather than life-threatening monsters is heading, and provides something that anyone looking for wave inspiration can enjoy.
The Unknown Road was featured in Issue #30.
Click here to watch a clip of this DVD