October 22, 2017
by Christopher Parker (@wheresbossman)

What did ‘Red Bull Heavy Water’ look like from the beach? This clip give us a different angle (and fresh insights).

Here’s a great clip showing that crazy event up in San Francisco from a slightly different angle.

While the Red Bull Heavy Water highlights video has already racked up 50,000 views, that first edit was mainly just “paddle porn” that didn’t really tell much of a story about the race itself. This video from Clay Island certainly does.

This six minute reel, complete with a soothing commentary overlay, was filmed from the viewpoint of a regular spectator, which gives us a whole new perspective of what is surely the gnarliest (and perhaps most controversial) race of all time.

A few things stood out for me after watching this:

– These guys were absolutely charging.

– How on earth did they even get out once let alone twice?!

– The race was so chaotic it must have actually been difficult to follow as a spectator (0:45).

– Kai Lenny is human after all (finding himself in a rather unlucky and very unfortunate situation at 3:27).

– It must be pretty damn tiring getting pounded by 10-15ft walls of water while trying to control 12 and a half feet of foam and carbon.

– Casper’s nickname, The Viking, has never been more appropriate. Seriously, how does a kid from Denmark become one of the best surf-race-paddlers on the planet? That’s a story right there (someone really should make a movie about him).

– Ryan Funk is a definite name to watch in the future.

– Travis Grant is like a good bottle of red (better with age).

– “Clay” has the most calming voice in SUP (I want this guy in the commentary booth with Kalama and I at the next big race).

– The long distance portion of the race, as well as the flat water finish, would be hard to broadcast and hype up (keep it in the waves, perhaps?).

– And, rather interestingly, a lot of the guys actually slowed things down when they got to the beach in order to assess the situation and find the best way back out through the macking surf (1:58).

This final point aligns with the story Boothy told me after the event, about how he was trying to stay relaxed the entire race and not go into sprint mode. He said that was especially true on the two beach runs, where instead of charging round the flag and sprinting back out into the surf he actually slowed down to a walking pace, scanned the horizon to try and find a clean exit and even started chatting with people on the beach about where the best spot to paddle back out was.

It’s just another interesting little point in what was clearly a unique race. I just wish we could have watched it live instead of just analysing these videos in the days after (though this part is fun as well).

More coverage:
2017 Red Bull Heavy Water RESULTS + Recap

Red Bull Heavy Water

Ryan Funk all smiles as Boothy slows down to assess the situation (credit: Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Content Pool)