This slot of Independent.com is normally reserved for CD reviews,
but when I watched this DVD on the solid advice of Indy
reporter and surf scribe Ethan Stewart, it screamed “Spin
of the Day me!” As you may have heard, Shark Park is
the new, barely-ever-breaks surf spot off of San Miguel Island
where a few crazed tow-in fanatics recently conquered. This
DVD provides ample footage of the first attack
on the break, complete with near-death wipeouts, jaw-dropping face
rides, and enough water movement to get Niagara Falls jealous.
Deemed the “heaviest wave in California,” Shark
Park here gets tamed, for the most part, by Chris Brown, Dan
Malloy, Evraldo “Pato” Teixiera, Garret McNamara, Chuck Patterson,
and Don Curry, to name but a short list of surfers. Interviews with
the urchin diver who located the spot and director/producer Greg
Huglin paint an engaging mystique, making the film much more than
just wave action to drool over. We learn about tow-in techniques,
what it feels like to get dragged across a few football fields of
white water, and why big waves make your lungs bleed. It’s exciting
stuff, so watch it.
Best of all, though, is the bonus footage of a great white shark
and freediver, shot by a brave, perhaps slightly insane Huglin.
Ethan Stewart opined it was worth the $30 price
of the DVD alone, and that Huglin, who runs DolphinFoto.com, should
probably become famous just because of it. After watching the
short, music video-esque film, I have to agree. I’ve watched a ton
of Shark Weeks on the Discovery Channel, and this blows those out
of the water. Never before have I seen inside the mouth of a great
white, the fluttering of its gills, the scratch marks on its chin.
This is amazing, world-class stuff, all from a Santa Barbara-based