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The Inertia

There are a several things that evoke nostalgia in this excellent film by legendary California cinematographer and expedition kayaker Scott Lindgren (who’s currently having a biopic made about him by the equally talented, Rush Sturges). First, it’s a throwback to when whitewater kayaking, as a sport, was robust enough economically to support multiple movie releases each year from different film companies. Those days have passed.

Second, this river surfing scene that Gavin Sutherland and Bill Bryan put on film for Lindgren in the 2006 film Burning Time 2, which is still by far the best piece of river surfing cinematography ever captured: from a quality of wave standpoint to the quality of film, to the quality of surfing. Sutherland and Bryan released their own edits–and we’d point you to them–but they were nowhere near the quality of this segment edited by Lindgren.

Rapid #11 on the famed Zambezi River in Zambia, Africa creates a special wave, to say the least, an anomaly as river waves go with a tight barrel, a big, steep open face and big, gnarly whitewater to deal with after the fact. Click to the 6:50 mark to see the river surfing. It still stands up against anything done to date. And watching surfers paddle down giant rapids is worth it on its own.

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