Second Thoughts: DVD

Feb 26, 2007

Second Thoughts is a documentary about three surfers and their trip down to Indonesia. They decide that, rather than paying thousands of dollars to a charter boat to drive them around to various Indonesian islands, they’ll pay a fishing boat fifty bucks to drop them off on one of those uninhabited islands. The fishing boat does, and the guys are pretty much on their own for a month. They live off of rice and noodles that they brought with them, as well as any fish they can catch and any water they can collect when it rains. In between, they surf some amazing waves. Times get rough over the course of the month. They run out of water. They run out of food. They have to kill their pet goat to survive. They suffer through some rough storms. They look rattier every day. The whole experience, though, looks fun as hell. Prior to watching Second Thoughts, I’d never heard of these three guys (Timmy Turner, Brett Swartz, and Travis Potter), but all three of them are world-class surfers. The waves they ride are big, tubing reef breaks with ten to twenty-foot faces. There is no camera crew. Most of the footage is shot by Turner himself. The rest is shot by whoever else is around to hold the camera. The camera angles are creative and original and sometimes had me scratching my head as to how they even pulled it off. Also, while they’re out there, one of the charter boats stops by for a session. During the session, a photographer snaps a shot of Turner in a huge stand-up barrel, and Turner ends up on the cover of Surfer magazine. When Turner describes the session, he’s excited to have been on the cover of Surfer, but you can also hear a bit of disappointment in his voice. Clearly this trip wasn’t about acclaim or notoriety. It was about surfing in the purest sense. Turner narrates this documentary. He’s got a stereotypical young surfer’s voice, and he’s not very articulate. This just adds to the charm of the movie. The whole thing is only about forty-five minutes long. I wish it were longer. Still, I have to say that this is best surfing movie I’ve ever seen that wasn’t made by someone whose last name was Brown. –Sean (Epitaph, 2798 Sunset Blvd., LA, CA 90026)