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:: Billabong Odyssey

Surf clothing and accessories label Billabong was pleased to sponsor this film and the competition at its centre, The Billabong Odyssey. Billabong has long been associated with water sports events, except on this occasion, the surf gear manufacturing giant has its name connected to the most venturesome, lengthy and rewarding quest in the surfing world.

Billabong Odyssey traces the adventures and expeditions of the competitors, following them around the globe for a period of a year as they engage in the competition. Taking on a documentary style rather than a movie with a script, Billabong Odyssey includes interviews with surfing legends and current champions. It shows footage of surfing action and essentially presents scenes from the competition itself. Featured personalities are Ken Bradshaw, Brad Gerlach, Josh Loya, Shane Dorian, Ken Collins, Mike Parsons and Australia’s top female star, Layne Beachley.

The movie has been described as the most ambitious surfing flick to ever hit the screen. The Billabong Odyssey has a three-year duration although only one year of the tough contest is filmed. It is evident that these brave sports stars must be committed and dedicated, as the hardship to which they are subjected is gruesome. They are willing to put their lives on the line, all to search for, and ride, the biggest waves on the earth. The expedition takes place across some of the world’s finest surfing destinations like the West Coast of North America, the Hawaiian spots, Mexico, Canada, France, Spain and the Southern Hemisphere, which includes Australia.

Captured in this screen adventure are the dramas, emotions and triumphs of this extreme water sport. While most of the surfing champions featured come across as calm and composed, they feel an apprehension beneath their iron exterior while simultaneously experiencing an adrenalin charge. The thrill of conquering the waves and enjoying the freedom is the ultimate reward together with the material and personal triumphs. It is this factor, along with the passion for the water felt by these daring surfers, that surpass any feelings of fear and their awareness of potential danger.

Overall, Billabong Odyssey is interesting and informative. It is a must for water sport enthusiasts and for anyone desiring to gain a realistic insight into the world of surfing. Audiences should find the 87-minute film is reminiscent to watching a lengthy sport feature on a Sunday television sport program.