LANDLOCKED - A journey to the heart of Swiss surfing

Episode 1

It was sometime during the first lockdown in March 2020 that we came up with the crazy idea for Landlocked. It must have had something to do with the syllable shared by the two words. Locked in, with just one wish, to be outside. Surrounded by mountains, but still able to surf, or something close to it… Anyway, you get the idea.

In reality, we were just having a video brainstorming session trying to find a project that wasn’t too expensive and that was pretty close to home, seeing as we couldn’t travel anywhere.

It all started with one off the wall observation:

- You know, I live on Lake Geneva, and I see more and more surfers all the time. (Laughter)

- Actually, that’s not a bad idea! My neighbor in Choëx surfs. He really fits the part. He even shaped his own board out of wood. It sank, but…

Half-crazed by confinement, that was enough to get our curiosity and creative juices flowing.

The Landocked crew hits the lineup

Our in-house journalist started researching and making phone calls. The plan started coming together: historic accounts, Super 8 footage, secret spots, crazy ways to score waves and the unbelievable statistic that there are 45,000 surfers in a country with no access to the sea! We’d found the subject for our documentary. Not only was it intriguing from the start, but full of surprises, as we found out starting on our first shoot in Bremgarten on the Reuss River not far from Zurich. Little by little we introduced ourselves and were introduced what has turned out to be the vibrant Swiss surfing community: pros and amateurs, members of the Swiss Surfing Federation, shapers, shop owners and more. Needless to say, the stoke of surfing is alive and well in this Alpine country better know for its handcrafted timepieces, chocolate and cheese.

It’s time to drop in

We had the idea, now we had to make it happen. We needed a narrator to bring the tale to life in an entertaining and informative way that fit in with our Swiss sense of humor. Enter the Voice of Surfing, Dave Mailman. Next we needed surfers. The famous surfer-shaper from Choëx, Valentin Milius invited his friend and fellow surfing debutant Esteban Caballero along for the ride in his red pickup as they set out on a quest to find Switzerland’s perfect river wave. Our beloved photographer Dom Daher was only supposed to document the action, but ever entertaining on the other side of the lens he became a driving force within this extraordinary surfari through the heart of the Swiss Alps. There are even a few cameos from actual stars of the sport like Kai Lenny, Jérémy Florès, Michel Bourez, and Dylan Graves who definitely knows what Weird Waves are all about.

Every time the authorities called time-out on the last confinement, we were out there filming, documenting and living the Swiss surf experience. 15 months later we’re proud to present the first episode of Landlocked, our journey to the heart of Swiss surfing. Have fun watching!


Concept: Patricia Oudit, Dom Daher, Christophe Margot & Dave Mailman
Cinematography: Christophe Margot
Production: and
Music: by Livio Boullenger

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