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This ultimate cult classic, the 1977 opus Free Ride is an insight into surfing’s most pivotal moment – a time when Aussies hell bent on ‘bustin down the door’ came up against a backlash from Hawaiian locals – causing ructions that reverberated through the surfing world.
The smooth tones of Jan Michael Vincent narrating over a dreamy sound track of Gallagher and Lyle can’t disguise the sheer energy and momentum of the changes taking place. The era defining style, power, flow of Shaun Tomson, Mark Richards, Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew is captured in revolutionary slow motion water photography by leading lensman Dan Merkel. Rivals jostle for wave time and screen time, proponents of the single fin dual with the new-wave of twin fin riders – sometimes on same wave. Hot talents, burning egos, bright boardshorts and still brighter boards, this is a film about pushing the boundaries.
When Free Ride was originally released in 1977 it was a global hit at the box office, becoming the gold standard, a yardstick against which all other films are judged. Delaney’s love of the cinematic experience meant that FreeRide had never been released on video or DVD. Now, almost half a century later, the original has been meticulously restored and remastered and we’re honoured to present this celebration of surfing and the freedom of the ride.
LS/FF 2023 Icon Award
Showing with short:
Let Me Live - Dir Keith Malloy
As a surfing outsider, British big wave surfer Tom Lowe paves his own path to surfing’s highest level through pure grit, determination, and a little help from his friends. Cutting his teeth in Ireland and pioneering unknown waves with a small group of surfers, Tom found meaning in pushing himself to the limit. This short is the latest from award winning Director Keith Malloy whose incredible ode to bodysurfing Come Hell or High Water premiered at the first edition of London Surf / Film Festival with Keith in attendance.