International Liquid Force Team Rider Jason Slezak has toured the globe riding every condition imaginable. For Fall 2006 through Spring 2008, Jason and kiteboarders across the world have teamed up with John and Alexis Bilderback to shoot the first ever High Definition kiteboarding film. Here's what Jason has to say about the new project.
“For the past few years, I have been traveling to the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii during the months of November and December to kite and train with a number of other pro riders that live or spend time in the Hawaiian Islands for kiteboarding. I timed my arrival into Honolulu this year with Andre Phillip. We were picked up curbside by good friend, and legendary photographer, John Bilderback (JB). As we drove away from the airport, we caught each other up on what had been going on in our lives since we had last seen one another. When it came around for JB's turn to fill us in, he looked at both of us and said, “Well boys, get ready for Bilderback version 2.0!” He then went on to explain how he and his wife Alexis, whose kiteboarding footage has been seen in numerous kiteboarding productions over the years, were setting out to make a kiteboarding movie in 2007.
“I have known and worked with JB and Alexis (Lex) for the past seven years. During that time, they have constantly amazed me with not only the quality of their work, but their incredible work ethic. JB has worked with many of the world's greatest surfers, and his photos have graced the pages of all of the top surf magazines and, more recently, kite magazines. As a staff photographer for Surfer Magazine, JB has traveled the world time and time again in search of perfect waves and epic conditions. His passion in recent years has turned his focus in the direction of kiteboarding which has altered his travels a bit. After 20+ years of traveling to avoid the wind in search of glassy waves, now the goal is to find wind and the perfect wind and wave combinations. JB's wife Alexis also shares the same passion for kiteboarding and traveling. So it was an easy decision when they asked me to get involved in the filming of their kiteboarding movie titled “Lines.” My answer came with an excited and definitive, “Hell yeah!”
“The plan was simple. JB and Lex had mapped out all of the spots that they wanted to feature in their movie. At first glance, the itinerary was a bit overwhelming since it would have us flying enough this year to circle the globe a few times over. The Bilderback's vision was to produce a kiteboarding film that would capture the sport in its current state as completely as they could. Showing many of the top riders doing what they do best and finding some of the more unknown riders along the way to help expose their talents. With kiteboarding being such a versatile sport, they wanted to convey that in their film, showing all of the sport's diverse potential. That meant that we would be shooting ALL that kiting has to offer – wave riding, wave freestyle, flat water freestyle, park riding (sliders & kickers), downwinders, upwinders, freeriding, the Zoo (it is in a category all by itself!!!), the friendships that exist and develop, the exploration of new spots, dealing with and overcoming pain and injury, the love/hate relationship that exists with traveling with so much gear, and all of the fun that we have in experiencing everything listed above. If that plan sounds as appealing to you as it does to me, then you will need to check out the Bilderback Productions movie “Lines.”
North Shore - “Our whirlwind filming schedule for “Lines” started off in November 2006 on the North Shore of Oahu, HI. We scored some epic sessions at the Mokuleia beach park, more commonly known as “Mokes,” and a few other less known “secret” spots. We lucked out getting some of the best wind and swell combinations that the North Shore had seen for the 06-07 winter season. I spent a number of days riding my 2007 6m Liquid Force Assault and 2008 6'0” Liquid Force Rawson Surfboard. During one of the larger days that we had, the swell peaked out at around 15' Hawaiian (that is close to 30' wave faces!!)! During the North Shore sessions, we had an all-star cast and crew: North Shore residents John Amundson, Reo Stevens, Konrad Bright, Felix Pevic, Davey Blair, and Top Hat were all out in full force. Kiteboarding nomads: Sky Solbach, Andre Phillip, Moe Goold, and myself joined the Oahu crew for some great sessions to kick off the filming of “Lines.”
“Being out in the water with the Oahu boys riding their home spots always amazes me. To see the comfort and control that they have in some of the gnarly-est conditions. Oahu's North Shore can dish out some challenging conditions to say the least! With gusty winds, wind-shadowed launches, HUGE surf, and shallow sharp reef everywhere you ride, it takes more than just balls to ride there. Any kiteboarder going out to session has to take responsibility for his or her actions and MUST have knowledge of both the spot and the ever-changing weather. Not only that, but each rider must have enough skill in the ocean to deal with and accept the outcome of a potential breakdown of gear where the rider will have to get themselves back to shore without the use of their kite. This is something that is often overlooked when kiters hit the water at less critical spots. I find that I learn a lot about myself each time I get out in large surf; you are forced to deal with situations that most people do not want to be put into. Watching riders like John Amundson, Reo Stevens, Konrad Bright, Felix Pevic, and Davey Blair charge these less than relaxing conditions is both motivating and incredible to see first hand! After a little over a month of intense riding, it was time for me to head back to Cape Hatteras to regroup and visit family and friends for Christmas.”
Coming Soon: REAL Kiteboarding proudly presents Bilderback Productions “Lines”