Now the dust has settled let’s talk about that crazy film that dropped last week, shall we?
If you missed the release of one of the year’s finest bodyboarding releases last week, best be hitting play on the video above. Some background – world champion trophy-collecting brother duo Jeff and Dave Hubbard started a board brand, Hubboards, just last year, and the aptly titled Hubboards (The Movie) – the company’s first film – had its online world premiere on this very website last week. Needless to say – it was Bullshit (with a capital B). You can read our chat with Jeff in the lead-up to the premiere, where we talked to him about the motivation and influences for the film, right here. But now that the dust has settled a week after the film’s release we thought we’d dissect six moments from it that made us stop in our tracks. Yes, we know there were plenny more – if you reckon we missed a few, let us know your fave Hubboards moments in the comments section. Without further ado:
1. That double air forward
What better way to grab your audience’s attention than by throwing in a 720 air forward a minute into the film? I have a short memory, but is this the closest we’ve seen to one of these things being pulled? While Jeff doesn’t quite land it, the attempt and a handful of others in the back-end of the film (plus a few big 720 rev attempts throughout) prove the man who pulled bodyboarding’s first double air reverse is still pushing the limits of what’s possible in the air on a piece of foam. Another thing to look out for in the film is how tweaked both Jeff and Dave are getting with some of their reverses – so much so they’re basically upside-down upon launch (similarly with contemporaries like Jase Finlay and Jared Houston). Is tweakin’ it the new black?
One of the main WTF moments of the film (there are many) comes at about 7:18 when Dubb launches the stratospheric air reverse at Maui’s Honolua Bay you see above. Older brother Jeff’s career has been the one forged through gigantic punts (there are about a gazillion in the film), while Dubb has largely been known as the bodyboarding world’s Mr Versatile, thanks to his world-beating DK prowess and stand-up skills. But in the past few years Dubb’s airs have been growing higher and higher, and watching the film it’s almost hard to separate the brothers in terms of sheer height. While he doesn’t land the rev above, there’s another at the Bay (at 8:25) and a host of other huge punts (Mex, Pipe) scattered throughout that, along with Jeff’s, are surely some of the bigger airs seen on record this year. The voting for Riptide’s Biggest Move of the Year in 2014 will be verrry interesting.
3. What can’t Dubb do on the knee?
If you’ve ever tried riding dropknee on your backhand, you’ll know how fucking hard it is, especially when the waves get round. That’s what makes Dubb’s tube at Playa Zicatela at 11:19 all the more spectacular. Watch the grab rail to drop, the arm in the wall to stall while aiming the board at the beach in the pit and then the dive forward while grabbing rail to set his line to charge through the tube’s final running section… there aren’t many people in the world that could’ve made this barrel riding backside on a 40-odd-inch piece of foam with no fins, put it that way. Also take note of the raw power game in the early Indo section and the innovation in the grab-rail finner at Pipe towards the end. Dubb’s taken out Riptide’s Dropkneer of the Year title the past few years (to add to his burgeoning mantle of world title trophies) in close finishes over Matt Lackey, and this Hubboards movie performance not only begs the question, will he take out both of these again this year, but where does he rank as the best dropkneer ever? Don’t kill me, Roach, Kainoa, Lackey, etc. fans – I’m just asking…
4. Has Jeff added a notch to his power game in recent times?
Perhaps it’s just an illusion since we rarely get to see so much air-time devoted to a single rider (half the film’s 32 minutes) compared to a tiny web clip, but it almost looks as if Hubb’s carves and hacks have an extra few litres on ’em these days. Typically overshadowed by his own air game and not often spoken of in that respect compared to guys like Mitch Rawlins, Hubb was reportedly amped on the latter’s film, Killer Days, earlier this year. Riptide photographer Josh Tabone, who was staying with Hubb during the North Shore season, said the man was amped to get his carve on after watching the film’s countless arcs, and this viewer thought it showed in Hubboards (The Movie). Am I tripping? What do you think?
5. Timing is EVERYTHING
One of my favourite things to do when watching the Hubbards ride is to try to work out how they get so much air. My intense inquisitveness into this phenomenon once led me to hit up a few renowned Australian physicists (not even kidding) for comment on how this was possible (I was going to write a web story on it, but forgot about it). I included a link to the 2012 internet sensation Hubb’s Mexican Dream and mentioned to the scientists that Jeff was a small-ish, kinda wiry fella (I hypothesised that his smaller, lighter figure allowed him to get flung much higher than bigger-bodied riders). Pretty much all of ’em debunked that theory, however, telling me it was mainly to do with Jeff’s timing towards the lip (see above, Pipeline), before rattling off a bunch of technical terms that made me fall asleep. While this knowledge hasn’t really helped me with my own airs, it has at least allowed me to stop my yo-yo dieting and fasting in the hopes of beoming more Jeff-like, and instead I’ve concentrated more on finding the right lines to the pitching lip at the right time (I’m still shit).
6. Let’s all go to Tahiti!
There was a time when all we kinda knew and came to expect from Tahiti was big and mean or glassy and perfect Teahupo’o. Not any more! Thanks to the WITHINcast video series, and films like Pride’s The Hidden Face (2013) in the past few years, that stereotype has been smashed and we’ve all come to realise the islands are rife with a variety of rad (and less death-defying) setups. Yes, yes, the left-hand air bowl was probably my favourite too, but how about that weird, warbly and wedgy right in the Hubboards film that offers two or three round sections down the line? On the wave pictured above (at 23:38) Dubb smashes out an invert, before the thing grows down the line and offers him a forward air bowl, only for it to grow again to allow him to flip out. I don’t know about you, but if there’s one thing the clip made me wanna do it’s buy a ticket to Tahiti, pronto.