Monday, April 30, 2012

75 riders who have changed the face of bodyboarding - 65-61

65.     Nelz Velocido

Tell me you wouldn’t like a name as cool as Nelz Velocido. Hell, with a name like that you just have to itch to want to be a superhero, which is adequate since Nelz liked to launch. His projected forward airs still baffle me and his back flips were some of the best. 
64.     Simon Thorton

If there’s a big barrel to be had, Thorto is there. A hell charger who’s taken off on some of the heaviest barrels I’ve ever seen, Thorto is the essence of big wave tube riding combined with solid maneuvers.

63.     Brett Young

Brett Young was a character and part of the legendary Cronulla crew. He pulled into big pits, gave the finger to the establishment and would do anything for a good laugh… like shave someone’s eyebrow off. He died from a car crash in Japan but in his time alive, he did everything possible to get a rush and a laugh, be it pulling into insane slabs or eating Mos Burgers and looking for the deadly Razor Back (watch Underground Tapes segments to get the joke).
62.     Ross Hawke

The first Australian signature bodyboard was Rossie’s and for good reason, he charged, won a bunch of contests in Australia and regularly did well at Pipe, any sponger’s calling card. But when I think of Ross, I think of those classic expeditions to unknown places in Australia searching for huge waves to charge with the likes of Bullet.  

61.     Nicolas Capdeville

The first French guy I ever heard of bodyboarding was Nicolas and one of the biggest boosted rolls I’ve ever seen off the end bowl of Pipe is from this guy. He’s making a comeback and I think it’s interesting since surely thanks to his influence, other French guys got the idea to surf and make it to World Titledom.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

75 riders who have changed the face of bodyboarding - 70-66

70.     Shawnee Oide

Shawnee was one of the top female riders from Hawaii, in a time where Brazil dominated women’s surfing, Shawnee held the Hawaiian flag up high. Good style, solid skills and charged Hawaiian style.

69.     Chad Miletante

Honolua Bay is right hand perfection. A long wave that barrels, has sections and demands balls, skill, condition and vision. Out of all the Maui riders who charge… which are A LOT, for a time Chad Miletante soared above the rest, going higher and deeper than most. You see while most average people make a claim when they land a roll off a 5 foot section, he’s pulling off air reverses off 10 ft sections and thinking of what he’ll do after landing. 

68.     Jackie Buder

Backside dropknee riding isn’t an easy thing to do, ask any guy who takes a knee. Jackie didn’t care one bit and showed just how good a backside slash could look. 

67.     Babby Quiñones

Rubén Babby Quiñones is the closest a Puerto Rican has gotten to a Pipe crown, getting second place twice. His riding is fluid and powerful; he busts big, goes deep and has great tube riding skills he’s honed the world over. He’s also one of the people who have shown that Puerto Ricans can excel at sports other than baseball and boxing. 

66.     Eddie Solomon

Last year, California lost one hell of a rider and one hell of a human being. Eddie Solomon charged and a friend of mine was lucky enough to meet him and share a session. All smiles, you’d never guess the guy would chuck himself off some of the world’s gnarliest waves, but he did, which pales in comparison to the good guy he was.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

75 riders who have changed the face of bodyboarding - 75-71

75.     Tanner McDaniel

Tanner McDaniel qualified to compete at Pipe at an age where most of us are too busy discovering ourselves sexually. That he pulled off an angry dragon in a contest at half point would be enough to impress anyone… that he’s pulling off ARS’s after riding for 2 years, if that, is plain scary. We’re keeping an eye out for this kid and hoping that he keeps humble, hungry and charging. 

74.     David Tuarau

Tahitian bodyboarding is blowing up and one of the biggest exponents is David Tuarau, who is pulling off Angry Dragons and spine twisting moves off sections most mortals would rather just stall and get shacked on. Seeing what he’s doing is like seeing in real life what we’re all trying to figure out with an action in our hands.

73.     Seamus Mercado

In the 80’s and early 90’s, Merc charged with the best of them. His through-the-lip rolls and Sandy Beach exploits were killer inspiration to anyone with charging on their agenda but his claim to fame had to be those first board cam shots on the cover of BB magazines. 

72.     Kai Santos

Talking about charging at Sandy Beach… Kai Santos was a Sandy’s maniac. Pulling into the scariest shorebreak slabs you could imagine, often subjecting his body to attempting psycho rolls on macking closeouts or going for lip bashes on waves where the lip was twice as thick as the wave. Simply put, his segments made me want to charge huge shorebreaks.

71.     Chris Tennberg

Chris Tennberg held true to the Kauai Classic formula, solid DK, solid prone, fierce competitor. There has to be something special brewing in the water over there. He may have been the most subdued of the Kauai Classic team, but seeing as how good they all were, that’s not saying much.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

75 riders who have changed the face of bodyboarding - Intro

Bodyboarding has a lot more history than people give the sport credit for. Actually, riders have a lot more talent and have done more surfing in general than they are given credit for. From pushing the boundaries of moves that are pullable, to new lines, to discovering mutant slabs, bodyboarders are a cut above stand up surfers. I'm not saying this because I myself am a bodyboarder... objectively speaking, standup surfing may be harder, but when it comes to pushing the limits about what you can do on a way, they have no business trying to go up against spongers. After some thought, I decided to compile  list of the 75 most influential bodyboarders my memory could conjure up. If you want to comment, if you have an opinion or if you just want to share a post with a fellow wave rider, feel free to do so.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My top 100 films of the decade (That I watched) Top Ten

10. Lord of the Rings Return of the King 
- As mentioned before, the LOTR franchise is one made with love, dedication and passion… Return of the King is the closing installment of the series and a tour de force regarding all things cinematography. Who would have ever thought that some films would make New Zealand part of anyone’s bucket list.

9. Inglorious Basterds 

– I am not riding the hype from last year. Now that I put that out of the way, brace yourself… I think Inglorious is Tarantino’s best work to date. Apart from producing one of the Top Ten Villains of all time in Hanz Landa, this movie ebbs and flows as only Mr. Tarantino can do it and I think the cinematography is by far one of the strongest we’ve seen in a while. Hell of an ending, the death of Hitler as it should have been and the best use of the Italian language in any American film and this movie is pure gold.

8. The Wrestler 

– If you like your movies real, let me present to you The Wrestler. Please rest assured, that’s what happens to wrestlers after a career and Mickey Rourke’s performance was something to see. I’m glad he got the shot and the recognition, and though I didn’t watch Milk, I’m assured the result was extremely well deserved. Regardless, Mickey Rourke and Darren Aronofsky… here’s hoping we see more good work from both, together if possible.

7. Cast Away

– Having given Russell Crowe the Oscar this year was by far one of the crappiest moves ever done by the academy. When you can make a modern day silent movie, have the audience cry because of a volleyball and have product placement without damaging a movie, you hit it out of the park. Tom Hanks was on another level in this film and it’s one of those flicks I’m just happy I saw.

6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

– Creativity is king of this fantastic movie that shows Jim Carrey can act (In case Truman Show wasn’t enough). With pretty much one of the best ideas for a movie since Being John Malkovich, two actors show the twisted roads love takes to finally reign supreme. Besides, just because you can’t stand someone, doesn’t mean you don’t love them.

5. Memento 

– What an intro, what an end sequence, what a premise and what a movie. Stylishly shot, wonderfully edited and acted with pure conviction from all sides. In three words, completely f@#$#^ up. Just how I like my movies.

4. Waking Life 

– A film I’ve given as a gift four times and will continue doing so until I find something that can match it. There is just so much information and things to inspire me that I need to include it. It’s smart, weird, and worth watching multiple times. Get ready to be mind humped.

3. Once

– This is pretty much the sweetest film I’ve ever seen. The soundtrack is a treat and if by any chance you think the two people in the flick are really falling in love, that’s because they are. They went out for some time after the film but have since gone their separate ways. What remains is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.

2.  Dark Knight 

– No one in their right mind should have been ready for what we were treated with the Dark Knight. Epic seems like a big word, but nothing else will do. Heath Ledger made me eat my words that he didn’t have the chops to pull off the Joker and the entire script is awesome. Throw in one of the best explosions in cinematographic history and enough action to keep you guessing every second of the way and you see why Dark Knight is by far the best Batman ever made.

1. Lord of the Rings the Two Towers 

– It’s no secret from this list that I fully embrace, appreciate and recognize the value of the Lord of the Rings trilogy in cinema. To justify having each of them on this list, simply put, there has rarely been anything bigger done that holds so well after time and will continue doing so. Sure, Titanic was a grand project, but you can’t tell me that it doesn’t have some really lame parts. The Two Towers is a real highlight for me because it had action, great suspense, darkness, incredible battles, possibly the best acting all around in the series and Gollum, one of the more wonderfully twisted characters ever imagined. If you disagree with this selection, it has more to do with not liking the genre than it does with what a movie is all about. Acting is there, script is there, cinematography is there, set creation is there, music is there, variety is there and the message is there. No stone is left unturned and if you still desist, then maybe you just don’t like walking much.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

My top 100 films of the decade (That I watched) 11-20

20. Finding Nemo 
– The little handicapped Clown fish that could. I put this ahead of Cars not because of visual excellence, but because they took an archetypical story, and they did it perfectly. You can’t help but hate barracudas and you can’t help but see clownfish and say, oh look there’s a nemo. That and being able to call friends Dory or squawk like a sea gull saying mine make Nemo the victor in this little animated scuffle.

19. Mystic River 

– Rarely do you see films that genuinely leave an empty feeling in the pit of your stomach. Mystic River is one of those movies and from all sides, this movie is just a pure ace. With one of the more disconcerting endings I’ve ever seen, it may or may not prompt repeated viewings, but all you need is once. 

18. Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring 

– Not since A New Hope has the first installment of a trilogy been as meaningful as the Fellowship of the Ring. True, the source material is some of the best in existence, but if anything is clear after watching any LOTR film, it’s that they were made with passion, zeal, dedication, and love.

17. Monster’s, Inc. 

– Definitely one of the most creative and inventive premises in the Disney canon and a treat from start to finish. Every animated film should look to Monster’s Inc. for inspiration regarding taking risks, solid writing and not being afraid to go out there. The end result is one of my favorite Disney films this side of Alice in Wonderland, The Sword and the Stone and Robin Hood. 

16. Ratatouille 

– This ain’t no dirty rat. Remy is the most charming rat you’ve ever seen and the entire movie was a delight to watch. Hell convincing people to get behind another rat is tough enough, having them even WANT to taste the food from the hands of one is a testament to a masterfully well made animated feature.

15. Big Fish 

– Fun, quirky, beautiful, sad, interesting, weird, stylish, cool, trippy, odd, unique. These and many more words can describe Big Fish and I really think Tim Burton should be supremely proud of this great flick. I saw this at a time when I was still mending wounds about my deceased father and the ending tore me apart, but in the end, this movie and the song Man of the Hour by Pearl Jam helped suture me up.

14. Coraline 

– I’m extremely sure this entry will piss off at least 65% of the people who read it. When I mention this movie, a second doesn’t pass and people mention The Nightmare Before Christmas. Look, I have nothing against Jack Skellington and I honestly do love Nightmare, but for me, Coraline blows the beloved Disney flick out of the water. I think the premise for either movie is solid and actually Nightmare’s is possibly better, but Coraline develops it a hell of a lot better and I don’t end up feeling as if I was shortchanged with the character development. Visually, Coraline trumps nightmare quite a few times in terms of effects achievement. The amalgam of techniques employed to produce this film just boggle the mind and nothing feels rushed. To boot, the soundtrack and score are magnificent, the story is an even better take on the original and the Other Mother is probably one of the creepiest villains I’ve seen in a long time.

13. Thank you For Smoking 

– Quite simply some of the best dialogue I’ve ever seen in a film. Thank You for Smoking is the type of movie that gets you thinking and I love that. Smart, superbly acted, well scripted, well shot, great pace. A messed up movie to enjoy over and over again. Hence why I own it.

12. Wall-E 

– Pretty much the best animated film Pixar has done thus far. Interesting premise, great message, and the cutest mini Johnny-5 you could ever think of. Wall-E gave me such a warm and fuzzy feeling that I almost felt paternal watching the damn thing. Add to this a great score, incredible visuals and a song by Peter Gabriel, and well, you have something so organic, you can’t help but be amazed that it’s all based on robots.

11. Pan’s Labyrinth 

– I normally say that expectations in the right place can make any movie better than what it is. You just have to know what to expect. Pan’s Labyrinth is the exception of all exceptions. I thought this flick was something different from what I received and I was treated to one of the most wonderfully dark tales I’ve yet to see on the screen. Guillermo del Toro deserves a lot of praise but Sergi López is by far one of the most wicked villains I’ve ever seen in a movie. My hats off to them both for doing something totally magical. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

My top 100 films of the decade (That I watched) 21-30

30. Mulholland Drive 

– One of two lynch films in the 2000’s and I think maybe his best, though I’m between this and Blue Velvet. It’s just that this movie was so beautifully well made. Add to that one of the hottest G2G scenes in existence and you are forced to admit that David Lynch has as much talent filming memorable films as he does casting beautiful women. 

29. A Beautiful Mind 

– There is such a thing as being too smart for your own good. A Beautiful Mind IS a movie for which Russell Crowe deserved the Oscar and the supporting cast was beyond solid. Just goes to show, a Beautiful Mind is a terrible thing to waste… so watch and repeat.

28. Quills 

– The Marquis de Sade is by far one of the more wonderfully twisted REAL people I’ve ever read about and this film gave us yet another extraordinary showing of why Geoffrey Rush is one of the best actors alive today. Dark, twisted and deliciously Sadistic.

27. District 9 

– Quite possibly the most important Sci-Fi film since the Original Matrix, District 9 brings a very distinct flavor to the genre and pushes in directions you can’t help but gaze at. One part fictional docu film, this movie shows what happens when brains and budget meet. If they don’t use Blomkamp to film the Halo Series, they better find someone who can do as good a job.

26. Moon 

– If you think I’m including this movie because it’s fresh on my mind, let me be the first to swat that thought from your brain. I’m not going to say Moon is the end all movie of all movies, but along with a couple other movies, it has reenergized Sci fi and inspired me to write a short story. If only for the last reason alone, I’m inclined to include it. That Sam Rockwell finally got a chance to show he’s an actor to be taken even more seriously is another reason.

25. Road to Perdition 

– Forget that this movie is well acted, well written and well scored. Now focus on how this movie is shot and you’ll see a movie that blew my mind from a directorial standpoint because it is just so damn beautiful to watch. Maybe it’s a stretch, but I felt hints of Akira Kurosawa in some shots and everything in this movie just delivered, including a very gut wrenching ending. Tom Hanks did a hell of a job convincing me he was a badass by the way, and I don’t think I would have ever thought saying that was possible.

24. Kill Bill Vol 1 

– Beatrix has a two part saga that definitely shows why Tarantino is widely considered one of the best of all time. Each installment has its distinctive style. Each one has memorable fights. Each one has great dialogue (big wonder from a Tarantino flick). This is girl power at its finest expression and you can’t help but enjoy each and every death of the Deadly Viper squad. Black Mamba is a fitting term for Thurman’s deadly on screen bliss.

23. Sin City 

– A classic Graphic Novel gets the Robert Rodriguez treatment to bring one of the most faithful and beautiful on screen adaptations of any kind. To put it simply, style, grace, great casting, top notch acting and the twisted mind of Frank Miller brought me one of the darkestly delicious experiences in my movie watching life.

22. Requiem for a Dream 

– By far one of the strongest films I’ve ever seen, and one of three I’d show all high school kids when they come of age so they don’t mess up (The others being Kids and American History X), Requiem is another example of how good Darren Aronofsky can be and that if he’s aiming to make you feel terrible after a film, there’s just no way he can do any wrong. Real, beautiful, intense, and the type of movie that makes you appreciate what you have in life. If you want your kid to say no to drugs, show them this flick.

21. Curious Case of Benjamin Button 

– I know you may not like the movie, but I did and I also thought the acting, the makeup, the set designs, the special effects, the story and pretty much everything was top notch. A love story with some bite in it and definitely one of the more memorable characters ever based on the Mork and Mindy theory of aging.