Step Into The Realm
The first thing that jumps out is the fact that it's nicely edited and has a really cool soundtrack throughout, with a good mix of metal, rap and indie rock - this in itself is a breakthrough!
I'd love to know how Tim managed to get so many good tunes on his DVD and pay for the rights! ;)
Chapter 1 - Introduction to the movie and the riders. It's predominantly set in the UK and reminds me a little of Elusive - the Scottish effort a few yrs back but I think it's actually better and has the added bonus of European waves.
For starters it has a wealth of surfing talent, from local boys like Issac Kibblewaite to the new school of Cornish chargers like Dan 'Mole' Joel, Scott Eastwood, Ben Skinner, Nathan Philips and even Guts and Carwyn Williams get a look in.
Chapter 2 - Focuses on Dan 'Mole' Joel and naturally Porthleven features quite heavily! The guy charges and while I got a bit bored of his cutback tail slides, there were some great barrels and tube riding skills on display.
Chapter 3 - Features Wales' own burger king gobbler - Isaac Kibblewaite. Nice to see a few spots we all know and love being carved up.
You'll recognise the Aber segment and a few other places I won't mention. It's always nice to see your local waves featured on a surf movie and it looks pretty good too! Some nice clean days...
Chapter 4 - Features Scott Eastwood
schralping his way through Cornish surf, lots of jumpy segments merged in with Senegal and a few foreign barrels. Look carefully and you'll see some hollow Y Bocs footage...
Chapter 5 - Porthleven...Mainly Cornish surf with plenty of new faces. I found some of this a little jumpy as it bounces from one guy to the next but maybe it's just my old eyes having trouble keeping up!
There's some nice stuff in here, some serious drops and waves of consequence as well as some smaller stuff - the sort of waves we see and surf everyday here, on our little island.
Chapter 6 - Takes us over to the East Coast which we all know has awesome surf. You only have to look at this months Carve mag - Jan '07 to see the quality of surf.
You won't be disappointed although I'd like to have seen more footage of the reefs but we're given a glimpse and Guts, Eugene Toolemache, Ian Hursey and Josh Knowles all score some nice waves and a few kegs on a nice left hander.
Chapter 7 - Introduces us to the Santa Cruz team as their spiritual leader - Shawn Taylor talks us through how the boards developed before we move onto the action in France and Spain following the 2006 tour of Europe.
Chapter 8 - Introduces the Santa Cruz team on their Summer 2006 tour. Shawn Barron, Matt Archibald, his son Ford and Matt Ratt tear their way through France and Spain.
It's fast and furious with plenty of barrels and air time but I found this part a bit mundane as the waves are too small and I can only watch light weight groms busting airs for so long!
Chapter 9 - Meet Shawn Barney Barron. This guy is about as pale as you can be, doesn't look particularly fit but can surf the hind legs off a donkey! And has some classic ways of dismounting a board.
He seems to be the comedian of the Santa Cruz team and surfs a rock groyne in France by standing on dry reef, waiting for a wave to come through and then jumping onto his board!
It's small but enjoyable. It'd be nice to see him surfing in bigger stuff. He passes over the border into Spain where we see a startled Tom Anderson in the background! And move onto the Spanish leg with slightly better waves and more antics from 'Barney'.
Chapter 10 - Mickey Picon charges some very hollow lefts and our own Gabe Davies snags a few hollow bombs. Next up is Russell Winter back on his home turf in full winter clobber, boots n gloves surfing a nice hollow wedge somewhere. It's a nice angle here as Tim is filming from over head so we get a birds eye view of the wave.
We're treated to a brief glimpse of the Cribbar at a fair old size, a solid 12ft+ and then Tiagro Perres makes an appearance back on his home turf.
I would have liked to have see more from some of these guys as you don't really get a chance to see them surfing properly before we move onto the next chapter...
Chapter 11 - Some decent sized waves in this part with northern charger Sam Lamiroy. I love Sam's fluid, laid back style. He makes it look completely effortless and gets seriously vert on a few and plenty of tube time. The Boex brothers join in and Joe Moran has a few.
Chapter 12 - Oli Adams blasts on to the screen boosting some pretty sick airs for a UK lad. There doesn't seem to be much he can't land to be honest - superman airs, 360's ,reverses, sideways and little skate ollies. He throws his stick around like it's a skateboard!
Micah Lester, a surfer I've not really seen before puts on a impressive display, some really nice power surfing on lovely, clean, wedges, laying down plenty of spray and a few hollow ones later on.
Then Carwyn Williams pops up - he's not dead! and is still carving up waves in France. Lloyd Cole has a brief slot busting his tail and fins out at various chopped up sections around the SE/SW Wales.
Chapter 13 - Filmed in Portugal with the boys destroying various beach breaks and having a good time. Some nice sequences here and good to see some waves being finished.
Chapter 14 - There's a nice wipe-out segment in the end credits for all the masochists!
I really enjoyed it, I reckon this is one of the best UK surf films doing the rounds. I found it a lot more fast paced and watch able than 'Land of Saints' but not as soulful. It lacked the big wave stuff that Elusive has but has far more variety and much better surfing from UK surfers.
My only criticism of it would be some of the editing. I like to see a wave being surfed from start to finish rather than seeing short 2 sec clips of manoeuvres on waves thrown together in montages but maybe that's just me?!
I'd prefer to see longer footage of the better guys doing what they do, in quality UK waves and sacrifice a few less surfers.
It's not all like this, it's almost as if Tim couldn't bear to throw any footage away and crammed it in anyway he could but it does keep the film fresh.
I would have also liked to have known where 'some' of the spots were filmed. Fair enough to keep x spots secret but the French, Spanish and Portuguese spots could have been named? And some Pembs and Gower footage would have been nice.
Go out and buy it, it's a nice film to have in your collection especially as it has waves in it that you'll all recognise. It's well worth a look and you'll be supporting a Welsh film maker in the process!