DVD Reviews | Mar 4th, 2005
Starring Mike Parsons, Ken Bradshaw, Brad Gerlach, Brian L. Keaulana, ‘Flea’ Virostko, Darryl Virostko, Layne Beachley, Shawn Barron
Directed By: Philip Boston
Studio: Warner Bros.
Buy on Amazon.com
Billabong Odyssey is a documentary movie that took place over 3 years and followed around some of the best big wave surfers in the world. The surfers traveled around the world looking for the biggest waves and went to such places like Southern California, Spain, France, Australia, and of course Hawaii. This movie is sort of the Endless Summer of today’s generation. I loved watching that movie in the summer time. Anyway, The beginning of the film showed the surfers getting prepared for the contest (finding the biggest wave) and taking classes on safety and practicing with their towing partner.
Towing is a new way to surf waves by having wave runners pull the surfer into the wave, the surfer getting enough speed and letting go of the rope and surfing the wave. Sometimes it’s a trial and error method because the person driving the waverunner could bring you too deep into the wave or in the wrong part of it. That was shown a few times in the documentary and surfers paid for it, badly. I hate it when I body surf little 2 foot waves and go tumbling under the waves for a minute. Imagine that happening to you in 100 foot waves and being dragged 150 yards under water. Yeah, it’s not fun but it’s the price you pay for surfing. That’s part of the thrill and excitement of it, conquering the ocean. I liked one analogy one of the surfers said about going in the swells. Just imagine going into a house and trying to find the exit while the whole thing came down behind you. I’m having chest pains just thinking about that. I’m certainly not cut out for surfing that’s for sure.
The contest wasn’t a consistent thing. It was spread out over 3 years and whenever the director would call the surfers up, they’d be in a different location or country the next day. That’s dedication right there! Surfing has also gotten a lot more technical than it was before because they now look at hi-tech weather programs in the computer to find out where the best and biggest waves will be. Once they pinpoint a location, they’re off to that location. Besides trying to find the perfect BIG wave, the surfers entered into some competitions and it’s documented on film. Sometimes the waves were too big and they had to stop the competitions because the surfers were paddling and not towing. Even though it stopped the competition, it didn’t stop the surfers of Billabong Odyssey and grab their waverunners and start towing their surfing buddies into the giant waves. The place they went in Hawaii was called “Jaws” and the waves were incredible in size, up to 80 feet! It could have been more but whatever the size was, it was BIG! During that towing competition at Jaws, Mike Parsons rode the wave of his life and scored a 10.0. Before that, he almost got killed and took one epic spill into the surf. That would have scared me straight right there but Mike went for the gusto and did it.
The documentary is really interesting to watch and anyone interested in surfing, should watch this film. Even though there isn’t any extras on here, you would want to buy this for the documentary itself.
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
Standard 1.33:1 Color
Favorite Scenes: Loved the BIG huge wave Mike Parsons surfed at the end. I still can’t believe how big these waves were in the movie.
Rating: Rated PG
Running Time: 88 minutes