Come Hell or High Water, A Film About Bodysurfing (and Body Boys, A Parody)

by Owen James Burke

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For his debut film (which opened yesterday), professional surfer Keith Malloy decided to take a break from the surfing routine, gather up some of the best bodysurfers the world has to offer, and travel around the world in search of waves. It must be a nice change for him not to have to pack 15 six-foot fiberglass sticks with you wherever you go. Instead, all that is needed for a bodysurfing adventure is a set of fins, and maybe a handplane. Keep an eye out for Mike Stewart and Mark Cunningham, no one has ever been able to bodysurf like either of them, before or since.

There is a lot less pressure around bodysurfing; no brands or labels, no gear, and as Keith Says, “It’s about taking a breath and kicking your feet in the big blue sea, Come Hell or High Water.” Surfing loses its marketability when you take the surfboard away, and it’s a wonderful thing, really.

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Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the film, with Keith Malloy. The project went down to Tahiti to surf Teahupo’o, one of the meanest, shallowest-breaking waves in the world, and the underwater shots that were captured there are mesmerizing. A member of the team actually struck the reef, and when he came into shore, the Tahitians put lime on his wounds, in order to kill the fire coral bacteria. As if fire coral didn’t sting and burn enough. Ouch.

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Body Boys: Legend of the Pipers may be an absurdly perverse film, but give it a go before you turn away, because surfing needs a good dousing of humor every so often.

*patagonia, spiritohspirit*

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