I like mountain bike DVDs. I think I'm pretty critical of crap ones. But I definitely love good ones. What makes a good one these days kind of depends what kind of riding you're into, whether it be race, freeride or trail. Well with Pieter Reichwein and Toby Nowland-Foreman’s latest film The South they've somehow managed to mix it all up into a tightly edited package that really does tick all the boxes.
You've got Cam Cole shredding a pre-earthquake ravaged Vic park. The filming in Cam's section is top notch, there's cable cams a-plenty and some nice dolly work too. But that wouldn't be worth anything if the riding wasn't up to it... and it is. I wanna ride like Cam.
Sometime-Wellingtonian Luke McCombie mixes up a bit of street, dirtjump and real Queenstown trail riding (I'm pretty sure his section is filmed on Turd Sandwich) for a banger of a section and Nick Sutcliffe rides the length of the Port Hills from the top of Flying Nun to the top of Anaconda (would have been rad to see that on film). Actually Nick's section is a bit of a first really, as it's the riding that you and I probably do on a daily basis. There's no air or crazy tricks, it's just good fun riding that makes you want to hit stop and go for a ride. Cam Cole and James Rennie's section on Craigeburn's Luge track is pretty much the same in the fact that it's a trail any average rider can have fun on, but throw in two rippers like James and Cam and the trail takes on a whole different vibe. A vibe that's got me planning a trip to Canterbury some time soon.
In the "I wish I could ride like that" stakes Jimmy Wilson's Living Springs section and super shredder Conor MacFarlane's crazy dirtjump antics lift the riding to an international level. Conor's commitment to the film is clearly evident; much of the terrain he's riding was built for the sole purpose of filming and his own riding progression.
It's not the longest DVD in the world, but there's nothing worse than a filmmaker leaving a bunch of crap in the mix. Toby and Piet have got that right and and the whole film is well balanced and theres a perfect mix of a bunch of riding styles that should keep 99.9% of the riding population happy. And the best bit is that it just makes you want to go and ride, and that's the mark of a good film.
You can buy The South right here. Save $10 off the retail price and still put $2 back into the Christchurch Trail Building community (Piet and Toby are donating $2 from each sale to post-earthquake Christchurch trail restoration).