Billabong Odyssey

By Lynda Dale MacLean,
A reality surfing adventure
Author Rating: 
3.5 Stars

Director Philip Boston and Cinematographer Mike Prickett had the fantastic challenge of capturing some of the most terrifying and gorgeous looking scenes of ocean waves, and the exciting, spectacular views of the surfers riding them.

First, my apologies to anyone who happens to know about the sport of surfing, or follows any of the careers of those depicted in this documentary. I just don't happen to follow surfing except for watching Gidget movies, but I must say, I was extremely impressed by the courageous determination, focus, skill, and passion that these folks carry within themselves.

Also, this is just not another group of beach bums or uneducated drifters. They're adventurers, oceanographers (in a sense), for they are charting into unknown territories, where the ocean remains a mystery. Conducting studies to help further their understanding of the ocean's floor, it helps gain valuable information on where the next big, beautiful wave might be heading. New technology in where surf boards are progressing, (a good waxing, just doesn't cut it anymore), along with learning emergency skills, could make the difference between saving a life and losing one.

Billabong Odyssey is about a group of immensely talented surfers, the best in the world, who joined forces to find the biggest wave possible to ride. Brad Gerlach and Mike Parsons once tough competitors in the surfing world, joined this elite group, and with footage of past events and that of their journey in Billabong Odyssey, much has changed, including a maturity towards each other, and the commitment of making this a successful team effort.

Their adventure took them far and away including Tahiti, Hawaii, Australia, Spain, France, and California. At times, it gets a bit mundane with the over indulgent views of surfing, but like any sport, you're waiting for the big pow to happen and Billabong Odyssey will definitely bring you to that height of adrenalin you're looking to feel. You view many incredible shots of surfers both taming and being wiped out by the massive and dangerous waves.

An interesting thing that I found out, was that these surfers are called "tow surfers", meaning that instead of paddling the waters to get to the wave, they're brought to it by way of boat, jet skis, or water-skis. Even more stunning are the helicopters circling above, practically engulfed in the gigantic waves.

Billabong Odyssey is awesome in capturing the intensity, terror, and extreme beauty of the ocean's waves. Truly, they are monstrous in their beauty and power, and this is the real thing, not some surfing movie. The ocean demands respect, and these surfers know that.

The closest I'll come to catching a wave like that, is in my tub.


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