Kiteworld Associate editor Matt Pearce was hired to work on the rider profiles and location reports for the Chapter One website, so having had an advanced screening, he’s been sat on this review for a while! Now that the movie is available for special freeview for 24 hours on the Red Bull TV site, it’s time to whet your appetite for an afternoon / evening watching the greatest kiteboarding movie ever created…
WORDS – Matt Pearce
If you grew up a windsurfer or have ever taken a passing interest in skateboarding or snowboarding then you’ll know how much hype builds up around a truly seminal film. When Travis Rice released That’s It That’s All it it was the most talked about release in snowboarding history just as the release of RIP was a defining moment in windsurfing. So, when it came to light that kiteboarding was to get its first big budget production, it stirred up a lot of excitement and the first trailer for Chapter One was nothing if not spectacular with production values far ahead of anything we’ve seen in kiteboarding up to now.
From the moment the opening credits roll it’s clear to see that the production team set the bar high for this movie. It starts with Ruben Lenten and Kevin Langeree chasing a storm in Ireland which, while not quite what they’d hoped for, still offers up some unreal (read: ‘savage’) conditions before following Ruben to Hawaii and his unexpected battle with cancer. The running narrative that leads us from scene to scene is a theme throughout Chapter One and, after a dramatic start to the movie, we are led seamlessly from one location to the next with the riders who feature in each section of the movie setting the scene for us every time.
The action throughout Chapter One ranges from the cutting edge powered freestyle riding and critical wave riding of the sport’s elite to the more sedate freeriding of Sir Richard Branson.
One thing that is clear throughout, is that Eyeforce, the makers of Chapter One, have set out to showcase kiteboarding in its fullest form and to capture what this sport means to so many people around the world rather than just the professional riders who push the limits of what we know to be possible throughout the film.
Highlights include Robby Naish, Pete Cabrinha, Jesse Richman and a host of the world’s best wave riders scoring a session at Cloudbreak in Fiji which was so perfect that they had to sack off their flight home so as not to miss it. As viewers we’re then transported to Brazil where we witness the humble beginnings of Carlos Mario right by Cauipe lagoon in Cumbuco before he proceeds to shred his home spot to pieces alongside Youri Zoon and Liam Whaley in one of the most incredible displays of full tilt freestyle ever captured.
It’s not all high octane action, however, and the cinematography throughout the movie is truly breathtaking with scenes like Bruna Kajiya solo-shredding a Brazilian moonscape in the Lencois Marenheses Natural Park, Don Montague piloting his majestic KiteBoat under the Golden Gate Bridge and a shot into the crater of the Haleakala volcano on Maui which are nothing short of incredible.
There is a defining message of Chapter One too and it’s that kiteboarding is about escapism and a connection with something outside of the normal daily grind. We see all kiteboarding participants reflected in the movie, from everyday riders to professional kiters, start up CEOs and one of the most successful businessmen on the planet embracing kiteboarding as a way to get outside their normal routines – and that’s a key takeaway for any viewer.
In short, this feels to us like a movie that we, as kiteboarders, will find ourselves coming back to time and time again just as many of us ex-windsurfers probably remember watching RIP every morning before a session and, as a movie that can encapsulate our sport for a non-kiteboarding audience, Chapter One is incredible.
Simply put, you need to see it. At least once. And then probably several more times as well.
And it’s free on Red Bull for 24 hours… so schedule some time tonight!
Here’s the link: www.redbull.tv