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The new What’s in a Name? movie is the biggest video feature to come out of Airush Kiteboarding since 2014.

Rather than just produce a film to serve product campaigns, Airush wanted to create a complete movie involving every aspect of Airush to tell the story of the brand itself.

Filmed in the three locations of Cape Town, Mauritius and Brazil, the sixteen minute feature is a beautifully shot masterpiece and a true testament to Airush Kiteboarding.

The movie showcases the utmost talent of the riders and what they are truly capable of, but also offers a rare insight behind Airush.

The viewer gets a glimpse of the design work taking place in the Cape Town office, the hands on innovation created in the workshop next door, and the rigorous product testing in action across the road at the beach. The movie gives transparency to the brand and shows the hands on dedication that we’re proud of: it brings the people behind Airush to life.

Let’s take a closer look behind the scenes at the making of the movie:


THE MAGIC BEHIND THE LENS

017_Airush_Whats-in-a-Name_Feature-7The production of the movie is a credit to the seamless partnership between Bas Koole and Ydwer van der Heide.

The history of the duo goes way back to 2005 when Bas was starting out as a sponsored kiteboarder at Ydwer’s local spot. Coming from an artistic family, Ydwer had managed to borrow his first digital camera from his employer and asked Bas if he’d be keen to do a shoot.

A firm friendship formed and they learnt a lot from each other. Bas begun to understand what a photographer needs and Ydwer learnt the intricacies of body positions, angles and what to expect from having a rider as his subject.

More and more Bas got involved behind the camera and discovered a natural talent for it. Learning the skills from Ydwer, Bas was able to develop his own expertise in the videos he produces to this day.

Ydwer and Bas are always together on shoots with Bas as the main cinematographer, together with Ydwer who also handles most of the planning and production side.

The magic comes from a partnership that truly works, and the duo are always on the same level. Being completely honest with each other on location means they’re always driving the project forward.

Having mutual respect means they can rely on and learn from each other too, and allows for their work to follow very naturally. When at a critical moment they can both be decisive and to the point.


IN THE MAKING017_Airush_Whats-in-a-Name_Feature-3

The idea for the movie was hatched by Brand Manager, Clinton Filen, way back in November 2015 with filming commencing in Cape Town in January of 2016.

Since this time the team have filmed over 1.4 terabyte of footage in multiple locations. Although not filming the whole time, the challenge comes from the team being separated between shoots. Around 80% of the filming was derived from planned storylines, but it’s not as easy to plan when apart. The team were always really conscious not to lose momentum.

Working with the Airush Pros helps as they all get along great despite having such different characters. It always makes it easier to capture interesting shots and beautiful moments.

One particular moment that stands out was at the end of the day in Mauritius while on a Reefer shoot that hadn’t been going to plan. Bas and Ydwer were aiming to film looking out towards a lighthouse as it would have framed a great backdrop, but the water there was too shallow to kite.

Ozzie suddenly spotted a little kicker in the other direction downwind and started riding toward it landing back mobe 5s and flat water tricks. At literally the same time the sun came through creating the most beautiful light and revealing a fabulous backdrop with the mountains. The moment only lasted for five minutes before dark but it was the magic they were looking for. The team even had to navigate their boat home in darkness but they had such an unexpected special moment, those few minutes made all the difference to the film.

On location, an average day would start early and could involve being both on land and in the water shoots (something new for Bas), or even piloting the drone. They’d generally shoot until sundown, and after dinner the footage would be downloaded and sorted. They’d also need to make sure all the batteries were on charge and the equipment cleaned ready to shoot again. Often they would work together until 2am, then start early again the next day, sometimes even before the sun came up.


THE CHALLENGES

017_Airush_Whats-in-a-Name_Feature-4Apart from developing the story and working globally, mother nature proved to be the most challenging part.

Working in or near salt water is hazardous for the photographic equipment used. Water and salt get into the air and therefore on the camera lens corroding everything in it’s path.

The biggest hiccup occurred on a speed boat in Mauritius while heading to shoot on an island. The main Sony FS700 camera caught some sea spray and to the horror of the team it wasn’t working the next morning. The only other camera of its kind on the island was forbidden by the owner to go near the water which immediately meant they couldn’t hire that!

How the hell do you get a high spec camera repaired urgently while on location on the small island of Mauritius?

Bas managed to get in contact with the local TV studio where they pointed him to a guy that fixed cameras as a hobby. What followed was a crazy day driving around that ended up at a small workshop at the back of this guy’s house where he assured them he could fix it for them. Bas had to just have faith and leave the expensive camera with the man with no idea of what the outcome may be.

In just a couple of days the camera came back working fine for a mere €75 fee. Meanwhile the team had bought a new Sony A6300 backup camera and were told it was the first model to arrive in the whole country!


THE RIDERS

017_Airush_Whats-in-a-Name_Feature-5Working with kiteboarders can be highly entertaining and the Airush Pro Team all have very different personalities. From a working perspective Ydwer and Bas have their own categorization of the rider personalities as follows:

Alex Pastor – Alex is quiet and shy but super funny the more you get to know him. He can pinpoint the exact moment and measurements instructed for him to aim for. He really goes for it technically to land spot on cue.

Oswald Smith – Ozzie is the off the wall one but is a natural in front of the camera as soon as he’s on the water. He’s super fun, keeps on going and won’t give up.

Bruna Kajiya – Bruna likes to be involved with the planning of the shoot and through that makes it really easy to capture her riding. She is by far the best female rider out there.

Reider Decker – Reider takes things as they come like a true surfer. He’s so easy with everything and his style is so amazingly natural.

Julien Kerneur – Julien is super motivated and the organized one out of the riders. If they were meant to leave at 6am, he would have the car packed and ready by 5:45 (Ozzie however would turn up at 6:15 and still not yet have had breakfast!).

Anthar Racca – Anthar is a nice kid and already so good that he could overtake the top pros with a little bit more control. He goes faster and is radically explosive in his riding. He’s really motivated and looks up to the other pro riders with respect and admiration.

Carl Ferreira – Carl is a true team player in Mauritius.  From riding One Eye to getting the freeride shots in the lagoon, he was always keen to get on the water and share the stoke!


017_Airush_Whats-in-a-Name_Feature-6

WHAT’S NEXT?

New destinations, new riders, new music, new techniques, new equipment, and a new story.

Despite only just wrapping up this movie, Bas and Ydwer are already talking about the next one. “It’s all about the story,” he says, “in fact a circular story,” Ydwer adds.

Next time the duo would love to paint you the whole picture of Airush, getting the factory involved and presenting everything that goes into the products you love. It brings far more challenges and interesting perspectives for the future.

Watch the movie then get this playlist and get stoked for your next kite session.

THE SOUNDTRACK

INTRO / Sean Koch Trio – Welcome To The Light

SOMEWHERE IN AFRICA / Kyle Watson – Toys

SOMEWHERE IN BRAZIL / Two Strokes – Paradise

BACK IN AFRICA / Sean Koch Trio – Flow

DIAMANTE BRUTO / Los Tacos – Mira Mira

DUSK TILL DAWN / Sean Koch Trio – Lift You Up

THE MEXICAN / Unknown