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Free Ride
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Free Ride

By: Bill Delaney
When: 1977
Where: Hawaii, Australian, Indonesian
Who: Mark Richards, Wayne Bartholomew, Michael Tomson
Music: Pablo Cruise

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FueledFollowing the success of Five Summer Stories, Bill Delaney documented the radical surfing of Wayne "Rabbit" Bartholomew, Shaun Tomson and others who were challenging the established Hawaiian hierarchy and pioneering pro surfing. Free Ride features stunning water cinematography and some of the most dynamic surfers of the 70s. Delaney and cameraman Dan Merkel set a film-quality standard with Free Ride that wouldn't be met until Jack McCoy hit peak form in the mid-'90s. It's memorably a chronicle of Pipeline/Off the Wall during the Hawaiian winter of 1975 -'76, but the Australian and Indonesian segments are excellent as well. (California is written off -- as was fashionable at the time -- as crowded, gray and dirty.) Mark Richards, Wayne Bartholomew and Michael Tomson are great in support and help make the point that the Hawaiians would have to step aside for the hot, young Aussies and South Africans. But Free Ride is really Shaun Tomson's film, and the lines he draws in the tube -- frontside and backside, and often with a joyous smile on his face -- are still in use and virtually unchanged today. What I liked: The surfing. MR and Shauns wave at Off the Wall was the most memorable.




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