One of the highlights of the 2018 Bells Beach Surf Film Festival was a short film titled BLUE ROAD, made by Swiss surfer/film-maker Alena Ehrenbold. Ehrenbold grew up beside a lake in Switzerland and was an avid skier. She didn’t catch her first wave until the age of 21, but after that point was totally hooked and decided to devote her life to surfing.
In 2016 Ehrenbold made the surf film BLUE ROAD, which showcased both her own passion and the passion of two other female surfers as surfing became their life. The film ends with the three girls coming together to surf big waves in Hawaii – their journey along the ‘Blue Road’ complete for now.
Living in Switzerland raises the obvious question for Ehrenbold… How do you get hooked on surfing?
“Well… as a Swiss surfer I just travelled a lot and was inspired by any surfer that was sharing the session with me! Sometimes I was buying a surf mag or I watched surf movies,” she explains.
“After completing my Master of Economics in 2009, I travelled about three months in Australia and a month in Indonesia. That was my first real break of real living. Two and a half years ago I quit my job in Switzerland to follow my passion for the ocean and for film-making.
“The first surf film that I really liked was “Sipping Jetstreams” of Taylor Steele. Otherwise I was mostly inspired by people who share with me their story, their ideas, their life and of course, by mother nature,” Ehrenbold says.
Inspired by surfing and surf films, Ehrenbold was soon producing Switzerland’s first surf film: “In 2014 I was producing with three friends “I Wanna Surf” – Switzerland’s first surf film. It’s a documentary about the Swiss surfing scene. Then in 2017 Blue Road came out and in 2018 we will publish a new short film about a French Shaper.”
And so it poses the question, what was the original idea behind BLUE ROAD? “When I was considering to leave my life in Switzerland, I was asking myself if this is the right choice and what role surfing should play in my life,” she explains. “During that process of several years, I realised that there are other people, especially girls, who are asking themselves the same question – so I decided to write the script for Blue Road. We had a small budget and so I was producer, director and protagonist at the same time!”
You can find out more about BLUE ROAD by checking out www.blueroadsurffilm.com. Follow Alena Ehrenbold on Instagram: alenaehrenbold or Facebook: Blue Road Surf Film
By John Foss