Epic is perhaps the most overused word on the internet, but it’s an appropriate description for “Calypte”, a new full length film that documents Torren Martyn and Aiyana Powell’s year-long surf and sailing expedition through remote Indonesia.
The film, by Martyn and Ishka Folkwell, and presented by Need Essentials, follows Martyn and Powell as they undertake a 5,000 nautical mile journey shepherding an Endurance 35 sailboat from the Gulf of Thailand to Lombok.
“Calypte” depicts a real deal surfing adventure. It’s a kind of surf movie that seems to be in short supply these days, given the broader shift towards shorter form content. Travel and exploration have long held a prominent place in surfing’s consciousness, and it’s refreshing to see a proper full-length film documenting someone’s trip of their lifetime.
The film shines a light on Indonesia, and not just its waves. Surfers, in their single minded pursuit of waves, can often ignore everything else. “Calypte”, by contrast, doesn’t treat Indonesia as an agglomeration of standout surf spots, but rather examines the country with a gentle warmth and curiosity. The filmmakers’ fondness for Indonesia and its people is clear.
And if you just came for the shredding, “Calypte” has plenty of that, too. Whether it’s reeling right hand barrels, or whippy backhand turns on playful lefts, Martyn does it all. He’s one of the most compelling surfers today. Powell is no slouch herself, gracefully piloting a mid length through some spectacular tropical setups.
“Calypte” captures so much of what we romanticize about surfing and traveling. Neither Martyn nor Powell were experienced sailors before they decided to set sail, and it still blows my mind that they took the plunge in the first place. Like any proper voyage, it’s not all perfect waves and Bintangs on the boat, either. A good chunk of the trip seems to involve boat repairs, which I’m guessing are even less fun in the middle of a tropical squall, miles away from the nearest port. But the stakes are part of what make the movie so entertaining.
“Calypte” is an ambitious and beautiful film, and a welcome entrant in surfing’s long history of memorable travelogues.