Rip Curl has again created a technological world-first by capturing full-tilt surfing action using a “30 camera Array” – a line of cameras firing consistently as surfers ride towards and past it. The results are unique “frozen moments of time” – that can be viewed in a combination of angles for a true in the round perspective.
Three years ago Rip Curl took a similar concept to the Sun Way Lagoon Wavepool in Malaysia using Canon SLR cameras, linking 50 individual shots to freeze a single moving moment. Effective, but a hell of a lot of work (and risk) for the slim chance at one particular point in time.
This year Rip Curl and TimeSlice, our partners in the overall development, used GoPro HD video cameras to freeze an infinite number of moments that could be viewed. The major benefit being a better way of catching all the performance surfing the Rip Curl team riders were doing, rather than just a fraction of it.
The freeze frame concept all started with a desire to showcase the MIRAGE Series of Ultimate Boardshorts. MIRAGE are the most technically advanced boardshort on the planet, so to do them justice we needed the right leadership and technology from our photographic equipment. Combining our world class surf team of Mick Fanning, Owen Wright, Matt Wilkinson, Dillon Perillo and Dean Brady with the multi-frame array of cameras, gave us a Matrix style suite of “Mirage Moments”, which pull the viewer in to the image, stalling there for long enough to enjoy a great move, before travelling down the line through the footage to the next Mirage Moment, the viewing metaphor for surfing in itself.
It was 2X ASP world champion, Fanning, who used his knowledge of the world’s best breaks to help pick the ideal location. When asked where he would go to try something so ambitious Fanning replied simply… “Namotu Island in Fiji. The waves, the light, the location. It’s built for it. Scott and Mandy who own the place will look after us.”
Of course, we took Mick’s advice and the dice were rolled.
Along the way things developed rapidly. A 10 camera hand held water rig was pieced together in the makeshift workshop, a 30 camera rig which attached to a jet ski buzzed the lineup with the surfers following down the line, and a bigger 30 camera hand-held rig were all developed on the fly to great effect.
We invite you to experience MIRAGE to the fullest effect here: www.ripcurl.com/mirage