Fallen’s ‘Road Less Traveled’ is a tour video with a difference. Most tour videos focus on the demos, the never-been-done tricks at the local EMB and the random acts of silliness that endless hours of van life can produce. As a result it doesn’t always paint the best picture of foreigners abroad and distorts the reality of just how difficult it can be to actually get those rare clips.
Following the lead of Patrik Walner’s Visual Travelling projects, Jamie Thomas and master lensman Mike Gilbert took the Fallen team (Tommy Sandoval, Jack Curtain, Garrett Hill, Brian Hansen, Tom Asta, James Hardy, Tony Cervantes, Dane Burman and Jon Dickson) off the tourist trail to film the trial, error and triumph that goes into producing a feature length film. Like a book, Road Less Travelled is broken down into chapters for each of the four locations visited: Turkey, Portugal, the American West and Thailand. In order to provide insight and background for the events on display, several of the riders walk us though their individual experiences running up to, during or after each journey. The end result is a far more complete and coherent product that doesn’t simply focus on the proverbial hammers (even though there are plenty and they’re shocking!), but also the craftsman putting in the work, their environment and motivations.
Mike Gilbert has understood the purpose of high definition cameras and puts his to work as he captures scenery and surroundings akin to a National Geographic photographer. You also get the sense that sending a crew of scruffy skateboarders halfway across the world, or deep into the back roads of their homeland, generates a strong bond between each rider and the team dynamic gets amplified. Whether it’s another skater stepping between you and an angry sword wielding citizen or watching your buddy step up to the plate of a huge double kinker and get served only to return the next day and ride away victorious, the Fallen team are a tight unit. Thanks to Road Less Traveled I now hold Tommy Sandoval in much higher regard as a tough as nails nutter and James Hardy as a man that actually thinks twice about his role as a professional skateboarder and the opportunities he has to travel. The only cringe worthy (“chocolatey”) moment that stood out for me was listening to Brian Hansen explain his travel anxiety and questionable knowledge of geo-politics. That said, he still managed to board a few planes and put down some tricks so it was all worthwhile.
Garrett Hill pop-shuvs in SA. Photo: Chad Foreman
For a meager 10 dollar download fee via iTunes, I would strongly recommend purchasing Road Less Traveled because it delivers great skateboarding but also provides insight into the riders’ experiences and footage of spots you’ve probably never seen before. Otherwise you can wait patiently for the Transworld Skateboarding website to stream limited viewings of each chapter over a period of time. My humble opinion would be to source the funds for a download with your mates so you can enjoy the skating straight away and for as many replays as you like but that’s your decision not mine.