It's forty-two minutes long!
Yeah, forty-two minutes. Before you jerk down the window and throw the damn computing machine out the window, I would suggest, at the very least, a cursory viewing of this feature.
Ben Gravy, who is thirty years old and crowned with a hairline that looks grafted from brave Russell Bierke, is a film school grad turned surf vlogger. A couple of years ago, Ben figured if he could film and cut and deposit one surf clip on YouTube every day he’d get a little traction among the two hundred thousand or so surf fans around the world. So far he’s got 43,000 subscribers on his channel and a total of nine million views over a thousand-ish clips.
Good numbers, yes, and reflective, I think, of an enthusiasm and every-man appeal. Innocent. Frank. Kind. Ben can surf but he ain’t a true pro nymphet. A second-rate but determined player.
This forty-two minute film is typical of Ben’s approach. He’s been jaw-boning Kelly for a year or so about getting into his pool.
Finally, Kelly relents.
Ben’s journey unfolds in slow-motion. The drive to Lemoore. The hotel. Looking at an email from Kelly. The gates opening. His first wave. (Does he wear a nose clip to prevent brain-eating amoebas? Discuss.). Ben’s inquisitive GoPro examines every damn detail of the Ranch and hunts novelty waves in the overflow channel and the inside shorebreak.
“Three years ago, I was twenty six years old, washed-up, barely surfed, blown-out knee with a doctor telling me I might never surf again,” Ben says. “I changed my life, I changed my mindset and today I came to the Kelly Slater wavepool and I surfed with Kelly Slater. Anything is possible. If you chase your dreams, if you put positivity and goodness into the universe, it’ll come back to you. I’m living proof.”