Deepwater Channel is the online video home of Deepwater Films, a company that specializes in filming only the most memorable, dangerous surfing expeditions on the planet. The San Diego company is best known for oceanic IMAX releases such as Big Wave Hunters – a surfing film featuring the extreme athletes highlighted on the Deepwater Channel. Unlike a handful of other surfing websites, which are locally based, and often of questionable production quality, Deepwater is partnered with Graphic Films, an IMAX specialist, and creator of 1998 Academy Award-winner, Alaska: Spirit of the Wild. Thanks to this combination of filmmaking experience, and daredevil surfers, the site is able to provide the sort of footage rarely seen outside of the theater.
The surfing team includes a number of professionals, including Chuck Patterson and Shane Dorian, who travel the world in search of only the largest waves. Once found, the surfers must be towed in by partners on jet skis, and then rescued should the ride go awry. The videos focus on the individual triumphs, and viewers are treated to 2-3 minute clips of these surfing pros as they ride curling waves of almost comical heights. The Surfers clip introduces the viewer to the different athletes, and offers a bit of the “behind the scenes” experience. The self-explanatory Wipeouts is a draw if only because of the ridiculous height from which the surfers fall. In another video, Scott Chandler can be seen riding with his dog on the board – though not on one of those aquatic cliffs, of course. Beyond that, the site offers extensive profiles for their numerous team members, as well as a photo gallery for those wishing to memorialize these rides on their wallpapers. While the site may not be the surfing mecca that is Surfline, it does allow you to live vicariously through these surfers, if only for a few minutes.
One can only watch so many death-defying surfing clips without wondering how these athletes are able to risk their lives so frequently in search of the big wave thrill. This video is dedicated to the Tahitian surfer, Malik Joyeaux, who was killed in December 2005 while surfing Pipeline, in Hawaii. It serves as a sobering reminder of how dangerous this sport can be – something that is easy to forget when watching a series of stylized video clips.