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Film Review: Shaping A Life

A Film by Denise Galvao

If good things come in small packages, Gary Linden is the ultimate Jack-in-the-box! Inspired, resourceful, persevering, and – yes – fun-loving, his surfer’s path has led him on a long and winding road through virtually every facet of the surfing life. Inspired by his father and driven by a love of the ocean and its waves, Linden has done it all: surfing (since 12), competing (since 15), organizing competitions (since 15), shaping surfboards (since 17), traveling, judging contests, surfing big waves, operating a major foam-blowing operation (Walker) … you name it. This straight-up, no-frills half-hour documentary is good inspiration for us lesser humans. It reveals the fire at Linden’s core along with the pleasures and pains associated with a life dedicated to the pursuit of perfect waves and perfect vehicles. That someone as gifted as Gary has had to endure some significant adversity along the way is not surprising, but it is a little sobering. On the other hand, to see this 56-year-old “kid” clawing over ledges to make the drop at Dungeons (he’s Contest Director of the Red Bull South African XXL event) is a pretty awesome sight that expands the definition of “stoked” into new realms of personal achievement. Highly recommended.

Words DK

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