Storm Surfers 2 gets green light

31 July, 2009 by IF

Press release from Storm Surfers

Storm Surfers 2 – New Zealand just received the green light from the boards of the Screen Australia and Screen NSW. The one-hour documentary that is being co-produced with Discovery Network Asia, follows surfing legends Ross Clarke-Jones and Tom Carroll as they hunt the biggest waves in the world – and then attempt to surf them. This year the Storm Surfers are heading to the south island of New Zealand where they will attempt to surf 40foot waves generated from the biggest storm they can find in the Southern Ocean.


Ross and Tom face the hair-raising challenge of surfing these aquatic monsters, whilst the team at production company 6ixty Foot Films – including creators Chris Nelius and Justin McMillan, and producer Marcus Gillezeau – must get the athletes and crew to the break in one piece. To simply reach the location they will face the prospect of avalanches, near freezing waters and a virtually unknown wave in one of the most remote places on earth.

After the delivery of the highly successful Storm Surfers – Dangerous Banks that screened on Discovery Channel throughout Asia, the producers are now planning to expand the online experience that is wrapped around the second episode.

International Emmy® Award winning producer Marcus Gillezeau has set up a unique way of managing and distributing the content with a range of partners that will both promote the show and satisfy the hungry surf fans. The team have raised additional finance to produce a series of 15X3 min micro-documentaries following the crew and cast that will be uploaded during production and post-production. The same content will also be made available for the media who will be encouraged to follow the team as they attempt to ride the southern ocean aquatic monsters.

Finance is being raised for the project from non-traditional sources by providing non-exclusive rights to screen the micro-documentaries and other content on the websites of those supporters. “Traditionally, ancillary rights are very closely guarded and protected. So much so they can become encumbered. What is great is the funding agencies and Discovery Network Asia have encouraged us to find ways to leverage the ancillary rights, in this case through the micro-documentaries, to raise additional finance and help promote the show and the brand.” says producer Marcus Gillezeau. “The micro-docs will be on and also made available to all our partners including Quiksilver, Red Bull, Swellnet, Surfco and Tourism NZ who will make them available on their websites for people to watch. We will then derive revenue in several different ways – either through ads, DVD and merchandising sales or through the support that the sponsor is providing.”

Storm Surfers producers Marcus Gillezeau and Chris Nelius are hoping that the brand will continue to grow and they will eventually be able to get the show up as a bigger series in the USA. “If we get strong ratings again for the broadcast, and then get a million video views in the USA, we’ll start to have a strong case for a North American broadcaster to back the show.” says Chris Nelius.

The team will begin shooting in a few weeks in New Zealand and in Australia. After this, the nerve-racking wait for a giant swell will begin.

More about Storm Surfers below. Or visit

For interviews with any of the team including Tom Carroll and Ross Clarke Jones, please call Marcus Gillezeau on m 0412 278 516


•    STORM SURFERS is a one-hour documentary produced by Australian production company 6ixty Foot Films for Discovery Networks Asia. It premieres in Australia 17th December 2008 and is sold to Discovery in Asia and South America only. Storm Surfers 2 will screen early in 2010.

•    STORM SURFERS combines extreme surfing, weather prediction, science and sheer bravery as former world champion Tom Carroll and big wave legend Ross Clarke-Jones strive to hunt down and surf the biggest storm swells in Australia. The documentary follows the daring duo during winter as they survive colossal wipeouts and achieve phenomenal world firsts.

•    Ross Clarke-Jones and Tom Carroll are two inspiring and hilarious Aussie legends who enjoy international acclaim. Ross’ passion for big waves and new locations has earned him the moniker of ‘the crocodile hunter of big wave riding’; while 2 X World Champion Tom Carroll is regarded as one of the greatest surfers and watermen of all time and oozes an energy envied by most ‘grommets’. Friends for 25 years, together they have a reputation for taking on any kind of ocean – a habit that sometimes brings them undone! 

•    Teamed with Ross and Tom is young surf forecaster and meteorologist Ben Matson. Considered one of the best in the business, Ben uses cutting edge technology to alert Tom and Ross on a daily basis as to the movements of weather systems and swells around the world. Working as a team, they typically have about 48hours notice before having to race off in pursuit of a storm swell.

•    STORM SURFERS is a thrilling format for high-quality television – full of adventure, drama, danger and science – that is also dynamic and flexible. It immerses the viewer in the awe-inspiring world of big wave surfing like no other documentary film or television program has done before using the latest HD camera technology to position the viewer right at the front of the surfboard.

•    STORM SURFERS is global. With the first episode set in Australia, the team is about to focus elsewhere – including Alaska, the North West of America and Canada, Ireland, France, Spain and Chile – with the focus on attempting to surf waves that have never been surfed before. They have already achieved this in two previous missions to South Africa and Japan.

•    STORM SURFERS is also a web event where audiences can follow Ross and Tom’s adventures chasing waves around the globe through micro documentaries, feeding the appetites of surf-hungry viewers and audiences just simply interested in these superheroes.
Storm Surfers 2


The south west coast of the South Island of New Zealand gives a new definition to the word rugged. Cut off from the peaceful east coast by a giant alpine range, this stretch of coast is uninhabited and wild. It is visited by some of the biggest storms and swells in the world but no one as yet has had the time, expertise and resources to surf it. Fishermen and helicopter rescue pilots have witnessed giant waves here – and now Ross and Tom want to face it.

Picture a Nordic landscape of bays, inlets and towering mountains of snow, to which Ross and Tom will have to fly over. (Do we need to remind ourselves this is where Lord of the Rings was shot?) With a sea temperature of 9 degrees the surfers will need special heated wetsuits plus all the nerve they muster, considering the biggest Great White shark ever spotted by humans lives in the neighbourhood.

The logistics are mind-boggling, the danger and isolation very real, and the conditions will be the harshest possible outside of Antarctica. But Ross and Tom don’t like it to come easy!

Nor do they like to do it on their own, and New Zealand possesses its own bunch of hardy big wave surfers. In particular Doug Young, a committed tow-surfer, and his tow-partner Shayne Baxter, a leading traditional Maori tattooist, are about to come on the adventure of a lifetime as well as providing a unique insight to this proud and beautiful land.

Ross, Tom and Ben will surf NZ this winter storm season from August to October.