“The good thing in such a project is that we are 100% free to follow the path we wanted. No obligation on how or where to ride, just whatever we wanted to do! A true freeride project…”
Ian Curry Lindahl describes himself as a Belgian wakeboarder/ Photographer travelling around the world. That seems to be no word of a lie. He put together Next Exit a Euro web-series, 8 countries in three months with 12 different riders including himself. We spoke with him about it in a know more that is a little different…..
Tell us about The Next Exit Project? Mercedes Benz Germany was looking for some Wakeboarders to cruise anywhere in Europe for 3 month in one of their vans, all we had to do was send pictures for their social media and do some placement on ours. This is how Next Exit came to life, instead of just doing what was asked by Mercedes, we decided to also film our trip and make some web episodes out of it. The trip was divided in 2 parts, the first 6 weeks were focused on winching and the 6 last weeks with another group of riders were more focused on park riding. The good thing in such a project is that we are 100% free to follow the path we wanted. No obligation on how or where to ride, just whatever we wanted to do! A true freeride project…
Something like this seems so effortless from a viewer perspective, but it must actually be a lot of work right? It is! Winching is a lot of effort for not much riding, but the results you get keep you motivated to carry on. For the park we just need to be ready to film everything at anytime and keep adding files onto the computer. It’s something you need to keep in mind 24/7.
If you are filming does it take away from the joy of a days riding or does it add another element to get pumped on? To me filming is as satisfying as riding, especially in a project like this when you don’t work for somebody and get to work with people that inspire you. When you get the result you want it’s as good as landing a new trick. You are stoked for the evolution you bring to the sport we love, can’t really have a better feeling than that!
Who are the riders that you have in the series? For the first 6 weeks: Ben Leclair, William Klang, Antoine Allaux and myself. For the last 6 weeks: Bruno Barge, Jules Charraud, Wes Gumpel and myself. The best part of that is that I got to choose who was joining me in the van, so it was just a group of friends cruising around Europe together. That’s for the official riders at Mercedes, but along the way we met quiet a few people like Aaron Gunn, Daniel Grant, Oliver Breumlund, Victor Salmon and others.
How many different Countries did you travel to while shooting this? Through the 3 months, we did 8 countries: Germany, Belgium, France, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Holland and Spain. 18,000 km were ridden by the Benz. From one place to another we had no idea where we would go next and how long we would be at that place for. For example, Paris got flooded in June so we left Sweden straight away to drive there and find spots and it got so big that we ended up doing another project in our Next Exit project: “Natural Playground” that you probably saw from Ben Leclair.
Is this an indication of how you live normally? It is the way I am willing to live! We were 100% ourselves in and out of the water in the project.
We just put Ep 1 up on our site. How many Eps are there going to be?? I still am editing them so I can’t be sure but it will be 4, maybe 5.
There are a bunch of other Next Exits online. What is the deal with those and how do they relate to the new Next Exit? Those that are online were weekly recaps of what we did for the Mercedes Campaign for their social media. They are related as it is the same trip but the “new” Next Exit is the real video project.
You seem to do a lot of filming, are you working on anything else at the moment? Yes, I am a graphic designer and photographer when I am home, but lately I am mostly working on or writing projects like this. It is pretty much what I would like to do in the next few years, trying to be creative in the Wake scene as much as I can.
What about your riding? You are from Belgium, how much time do you spend there? I‘m the kind of rider that puts too much pressure on myself on the water, I don’t ride to succeed in contests or to be the best… I would describe my riding simply by a big smile. Yes, I live in Brussels where there is no Wakeboarding less than an hour away. I ride every now and then over there, but when I am home I’m always trying to leave as soon as possible for projects like this.