Eero Ettala’s Ender World Premiere at Oakley HQ
PHOTOS: Chris Wellhausen
Getting the chance to be among the first in the world to see Eero’s final video part at the Oakley headquarters in California was a pretty incredible experience. We were greeted by the iconic silhouette of One Icon in Foothill Ranch, CA and quickly ushered in the door to an open bar and solid crew of attendees. Industry vets, local riders, and more filled the massive hall. Eero was rolling deep with his Finnish crew and it was pretty awesome to see his own family in attendance, as well. After a few cold beverages and mingling, the crowd began to make their way into the theater where Eddie Wall gave an introduction to Eero and the film.
It’s really incredible to think that one person could be on the forefront of snowboarding for so long. From his backside double ten in Follow Me Around, to game-changers like Tracking Eero and leading the charge over to full web video parts such as Cooking With Gas, Eero has constantly been pushing the envelope in terms of what is possible in snowboarding and snowboarding media for over a decade. That type of innovation does not come easily, as the crowd quickly learned, once the movie flickered to life across the screen. At one point we were shown a glimpse of surgical footage, courtesy of Eero’s six total knee surgeries. Groans from the audience, which could likely be attributed to the noise of power drills and hammers going to work on Eero’s kneecaps, were aplenty during that scene.
That’s the stuff they don’t tell you about. You’ll always hear stories of ridiculous parties, cash prizes, and the glamorous side, of course. What you rarely hear about is what sort of dedication goes into getting to that point. The constant impacts on crucial body parts, the ceaseless traveling, and the heavy toll of being a professional snowboarder is a real thing. To dedicate your life to something, no matter the consequences, is something that many will never achieve. It seems that Eero has never wavered at all, despite the grueling toll on his body, which speaks massive volumes regarding his personal resolve.
After 76 minutes of footage, both new and archival, the movie came to its triumphant ending part. We won’t spoil anything, but we’re sure you can guess who took home that honor. At no point in time did the film feel drawn out or boring, which is a difficult feat to achieve during a documentary. To tell a story so masterfully in such a relatively short amount of time is something to really marvel. After speaking to the Pablo Films crew, we learned one of the first cuts was almost three hours long. How do you distill such a storied and legendary career into a period of time where your typical person doesn’t mind sitting still? In any event, the crew did an amazing job. As the last of us strolled out of the building’s massive entrance, we couldn’t help but wonder what sort of plans for the future Eero has up his sleeve. If there was one thing to be learned from the film, it’s that Eero’s drive, determination, and innovation is seemingly endless. We can’t help but think this certainly isn’t an ender for Eero. Not by a long shot.
Be sure to check EnderMovie.com for the world premiere schedule and keep an eye out for the iTunes release of Ender on November 2nd.