HITCASE big wave surfing legend, Ian Walsh, swims beside some massive Galapagos and Tiger Sharks off the coast of Hawaii. He described the scene as, “Super sketch, but the biggest rush ever!” All below was captured with the HITCASE PRO for iPhone. Follow professional surfer and HITCASE ambassador Ian Walsh @Ian.Walsh.
“It was like a courting dance with the sharks. They come to you. They can sense if you are nervous. I think the fact i’m so used to the water, lowering my heart rate and keeping myself as calm as possible was the main factor then the sharks were able to approach me. You have to read them.” – Ian Walsh
For over 40,000 years humans have been documenting each others actions. And yes, we’ve crawled our way from cave drawings to our couches to soak in the saturated world of over-documentation; where we’re constantly reminded that creating something original is almost impossible. Thankfully, Bryan “The Golden Bear” Soderlind isn’t fazed with what’s been done, he’s focused on what’s needed to bring his creativity to life.
Bryan paired the HITCASE PRO for iPhone with the crystal clear waters of an undisclosed Florida spring and the ambition of professional wakeskater Reed Hansen, Nick Taylor and wakeboarder Parks Bonifay. The result is a slice of vision that isn’t just unique to the wakeboarding world, it’s undeniable originality, and today that remains a rare commodity all together.
Words with videographer, Bryan “The Golden Bear” Soderlind…
How did this project come together?
Over the years I’ve done some wakeboard projects involving the springs around Florida. We have such a cool rare thing here, hundreds of clear flowing springs that are all really protected in National or State Parks, we’ve had to learn where we can take a boat, or go up river to ride really clear water which isn’t much of a possibility almost anywhere else in the world. That got me inspired to grab a few guys and get a winch in the boat, set up and explore a few miles up river. We got to these springs and it was so cool with the caves and it was just surreal being there without anybody bothering us. You could feel so comfortable swimming around in the middle of the night because you could see all of your soundings. I got inspired by trying to get some really unique wakeboarding stuff that most people don’t see.
What was the scene like in that off the beaten path area of Florida?
It’s a pretty rural and redneck part of Florida, all the locals were wearing full camouflage on their bass boats fishing and we stuck out like a sore thumb in a hundred thousand dollar wake boat blasting music. And they were pretty excited to see what we were doing, they hadn’t seen anyone wakeboarding or skiing in there before. It was this real unspoiled gem that no one really knew about. We rented a cool minimal log cabin, the conditions perfect for what we did. We stayed the night and had 2 full days.
Image courtesy of @thegoldenbear Instagram
Your career has been primarily focused on photography, is it safe to say that this project got you fired up to shoot video again?
Absolutely, the last time I was shooting any kind of video was on a 16mm film camera, I had a water housing for it and it shot 64 frames pre-second, I shot something at the springs and made a little edit and that was almost 10 years ago. I had this really unique camera that could shoot under water, but film became rare and it felt like more of a hassle. I’d have to say, having the Hitcase and shooting at 240 frames per-second, to shoot that slo-mo, there wasn’t anything around back then capable of that. This really inspired me, so cool to have this juxtaposition from 10 years ago and a camera that was a couple thousand dollar set up to having everything in a phone.
How did you stumble upon HITCASE in the first place?
Reed Hansen, is a good friend of mine. I saw him getting these crazy angles and doing so much with it, when I saw that, it was really inspiring. A lot of different angles and things I hadn’t even thought of. Just watching and jamming with him really opened up my mind.
Image courtesy of @thegoldenbear Instagram
Who was in the mix on this trip?
Myself, Reed Hansen, Parks Bonifay and Nick Taylor. I felt like that was a good crew, what we were doing was so out of the element of normal wakeboard trip. The goal was to get something really unique I felt that crew was perfect for that.
In the wake world you’re so limited by the necessities of your soundings, is it difficult coming up with new ways to document it?
100%. In the last year or so there’s been some cool new avenues for shooting photos, but before, because it’s such a boat limited sport, all you’d see is a picture on a lake with a tree line. And now with the capabilities of the winch you can ride wherever and with cable parks we can actually build some really unique obstacles to hit. That’s the direction I’ve tried to go ‘cause when you think of a wakeboarding photo that stuff ins’t the first thing that comes to mind. And the underwater stuff is a facet of our sport that’s never come to life, in surfing there’s a lot of crystal clear beautiful water, guys are swimming with their equipment a lot. In wake boarding it’s so fast paced someones going by you at 25 mph your chances of being in the right position are pretty rare.
“I’m absolutely frothing! … Yew!” Mtich Oates of Sidney, Australia, was trending on Twitter and blowing up Periscope.tv with the first ever underwater live stream on the platform. Over 5 million people have tuned into to see this, check out for yourself. All made possible with the HITCASE PRO for iPhone 6/6s.
These are the fuzzy-feel-good stories that get us to work in the morning. Shout out to Cory for sharing this one with us; and to all the other HITCASE supporters using our product.
As you may have seen through my IG feed, I lost my phone (and Hitcase) 2 months ago in a murky river while tubing in high water. I went back to look for it with my dive gear and dive light, but no success. Just the other day, someone found it washed up on the banks, after several flash floods (raging water heights up to 8 feet high… normal is < 2 feet). Not knowing how long it had been there, they took it home and charged it… it turned on! They were hoping I called it, but I had already replaced my phone within a couple weeks after losing it. However, when returned to me, the photos on it were priceless from that day (see attached photos). Aside from the case being a little banged up (see attached photo), my phone is bone dry and the case is still water tight! Thanks again for making such a great product and for turning great days into epic stories!
This is what it feels like to race a 1977 Flat Track Racer.
Our Chief Designer at HITCASE, Keddie Brown, typically rolls up to work on an old 1969 Harley Davidson Shovelhead. With 7 rebuilt bikes in his arsenal we never know which vintage gem will be parked outside HITCASE headquarters. Keddie is a top shelf human who knows how to ride, while filming this video he finished first and took the checkered flag in the vintage division.
Keddie’s bike’s : 1978 Yamaha XT500, 1974 MX 250, 1973 Honda cafe racer, modern YZ 250, 1974 MX 175, 1974 XR 75 and his bad ass 1977 TT500 580cc Flat Track racer.
Captured 100% with HITCASE & iPhone 6 ChestR mounted
HITCASE athlete Ian Walsh has set himself up for success heading into the prestigious VANS Triple Crown of Surfing after winning the HIC Pro qualifying event. The Triple Crown breaks off on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii later this month.
“I feel like a lot of years I surf up until the Semi or Final and then I seem to change my strategy and I feel like I need way bigger scores than what got me to that point,” Walsh said. At this whole event I just tried to keep the same strategy, the same rhythm and just do the same things over and over and treat it like another heat. If the wave gives you a big canvas, light it up. If not, whatever wave you stand up on you have to make it count. Whatever wave you get, surf it to its full potential.”
Our boy! Check out team rider Mikey Rencz doing what he does best (and peep the footage captured with HITCASE in the intro). Mikey is always killing it, always makes winter look like the best time of year. Hell yeah, Mikey.
Artifact Uprising has posted a great guideline on how to elevate your iPhoneography. At HITCASE we’re always striving to do more, get better, impress and inspire. Have a look at their article, get imaginative and check out #HITCASE for more great content.