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Billabong Odyssey (2003)

Action sports documentary that follows the industry's best big wave surfers as they travel the world searching for the largest waves that nature has to offer. The journey spanned 18 months, 6 continents and produced up to 70 foot waves.


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Credited cast:
Shawn Barron ...
Himself - Surfer (as Shawn 'Barney' Barron)
Fred Basse ...
Himself - Surfer
Layne Beachley ...
Herself - Surfer
Ken Bradshaw ...
Himself - Surfer
Carlos Burle ...
Himself - Surfer
Taj Burrow ...
Himself - Surfer
Nick Carroll ...
Jeff Clark ...
Ken Collins ...
Himself - Surfer (as Ken 'Skindog' Collins)
Sean Collins ...
Himself - Surfline
Alistair Craft ...
Himself (as Alister Craft)
Vetea David ...
Himself (as Craig Davidson)
Mark Foo ...
Himself - Surfer (archive footage)

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Action sports documentary that follows the industry's best big wave surfers as they travel the world searching for the largest waves that nature has to offer. The journey spanned 18 months, 6 continents and produced up to 70 foot waves.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Surfing doesn't get any bigger than this! See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, some nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

25 March 2004 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Billabong el reto  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$54,000 (USA) (7 November 2003)


$54,000 (USA) (7 November 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Features Dateline NBC (1992) See more »


Mundaka Outro
Written by Ken Roberts
Performed by Ken Roberts
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User Reviews

'Dude-my passport got wiped out man'
20 May 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

There are many surf- special interest movies- out there but they are very hard to rent or buy in mainstream joints. When you are interested in the sport/pastime like me you tend to rent any one that comes along in Blockbusters. What attracted me to this effort was it wasn't just a Green Day soundtrack to bleached blonde guys, surfing; it had some narrative as well as big waves and babes.

The documentary follows seven big wave surfers on their quest 'The Billabong Odyssey' to ride the worlds biggest waves with the help of the latest technology to find the boiling, angry breakers where ever they are on the planet at anyone time. It's a fast response project-led by Shawn Baron- where the guys-typical flashy American souls surfers- are on call where ever they are in the world and assemble to take on a big storm of reef when the conditions are right, where ever that may be, in search of the mythical 100ft monster.

The ambitious project has restrictions as all the guys are big names in the sport and have other things going on and you do feel that the odyssey is really about making a spectacular big screen documentary from minimal time and footage than actually seeking out the biggest waves in the most romantic and obscure places.

Off we go… The boys use a method called Toe-surfing, a recent innovation in the sport during the nineties where big wave surfers can get on top of a wave that's too big and powerful to paddle into by normal means so use the toe of a jet ski. The powerful motor bikes on water also allow the guys to be rescued just as quick during a dramatic wipe-out.

The film opens in the most spectacular style and if you saw this in the movie house then I bet it was something. The water based camera has a surfer and a jet ski in shot, and then as it pans away the surfer breaks free from the toe and the board grips the water that's strangely sloped. The camera pans further out as the wave wall grows and he shrinks. The camera keeps panning out as he keeps shrinking on this enormous, cresting wave of deep blue-green with surfer, Mike Bradshaw ,a mere ant on the side of a mountain when the camera stops. It really is a quite extraordinary thing to see and worth renting just for that.

The guys set out on their three year adventure by taking on a local break they know well that produces 50 footers called 'Todos'. This sets us up for what's to come as the guys tackle the South Californian coastal island break to you're a-typical, rock soundtrack. It's of to a Mexican reef break called Cortex Bank next that's 45 miles out in the ocean where beautiful ,big waves break majestically like dancing mermaids in the middle of nowhere, which again is mesmerising to see.

After a few trips to Europe after big storms the boys are ironically back at Hawaii and the legendary 'Jaws' in Maui, known as the biggest, consistent break in the world. After all the great plans, advanced weather reports and technology use its here that they will find that mythical wave. Not only is it 'stoked' out there but the island and pro-tour is holding its first ever toe-surf event on the mighty wave and the boys have entered.

Other aspects to the film are the guys back stories and how their time in the game has seen the sport evolve and become the commercial pose it is today. Now you can surf with wind boards or even aerofoil now the feet can be strapped to the board and with guys pushing it to the limit with wings on the kit it won't be long until you can fly over the waves.

Should you rent it… After the tragic tsunami events that seemed to have some sort of biblical significance considering the Boxing day impact and Easter after shocks it was the surfers in those exotic locations who stayed on to help organise the clean up. Surfing is a religion to and the waves are the Gods and if you still haven't a real perspective on how big the tidal wave was that slapped into Indonesia then watch this.

If you want to see attractive, bleached surfers having a great time out there while we slave away at the desk then it's achieved its objective. This is the unattainable dream, the big dream, the ultimate freedom if you like from your armchair and these guys are living it for you. When ever you see surfers doing their thing and living the life with all the girls and stuff you do wonder how they pay for it though. The truth is that 300 days a year they are making a buck and in a suit or a warehouse to fund it and only a handful earn a livable wage from it. But its nice to dream….

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