On Location: Ben Bourgeois has spent the last year on the road in search of a good video part.

Would you rather have a ground-breaking video part or win the Pipe Masters? Ten years ago that would have been laughed at. No question … Pipe. But times change, and today a solid performance on video can echo through time just like a victory on one of surfing’s biggest stages.

Quiksilver hired filmmaker Josh Williams to shoot and edit the company’s newest film, Circle One, which will be released this fall on DVD and VHS. The film (shot entirely on 16mm film stock) took the better part of a year to create and features the entire Quik team in several exotic locations.

Ben Bourgeois spent much of the last year traveling and being filmed, including a month in the Caribbean with Adam Wickwire, Dylan Graves, and others.


TWS: Is it important for you as a pro surfer to have a good video part?

Ben: Yeah, especially nowadays. I think it’s become more and more like skateboarding is here in the States. It’s more about who’s in the mags and who has the best video part. I see that coming up more and more, so yes, it is really, really important.

Do you think competitions mean less than they once did?

I do, definitely. You can go halfway across the world, surf a huge WQS six-star, make the final, and no one knows. But if you have a good video part, it’s laying around people’s houses for twenty years, maybe. My video part is one of the things I’m really trying to concentrate on right now.

Pro skaters live their lives to have a good video part. For them, that’s all that matters.

I know.

Do you like that idea?

I do, but surfing’s different than skating—those guys (skaters) put their life on the line. You know what I mean? It’s so heavy, and they can get really hurt. In surfing, you’re not really risking an arm or a leg trying to make a good video part … unless you’re surfing Pipeline or Jaws. What it’s starting to come down to is that guys’ video parts are going to have to be really well-rounded. In the next couple of years, you’ll start seeing more of that. Some guy will do a 360 air on a knee-high wave and then have a tow-in wave behind it. I think that’d be cool. That’s what I’d like to do. Especially if I wasn’t doing contests.

Just work on your video part?

Yeah, but I still like to compete a lot, and I have a lot of respect for guys who do good in contests, so I still want to do both.

—Joel Patterson