Karsten Boysen and Benjamin Büttner’s Formosa is a captivating look at the latest adventures of the Cayenne crew. This time their destination was Taiwan, where they spent three weeks immersing themselves in the local culture, and utilizing their surroundings, to produce a skate video that will have you losing track of time as you’re immediately pulled into one of the most impressive pieces of rollerblading media in recent memory.
Taiwan, formerly known as Formosa, is a thirteen thousand square mile island approximately the size of the state of Maryland but with a population of seventeen million more people. However as the Cayenne crew skate, skitch, and drop hammers through it’s capital city of Taipei there’s a sense of vast skating possibilities that fly in the face of it’s true density. The spots are numerous, varied, and taken full advantage of by a group of rollerbladers whose reputations precede them and need no hyping from me. So I’m just going to drop their names below in this flyer you've all probably seen before:
Recognize those names? Of course you do. These are some of the biggest names in the sport with individual styles to suit any taste and there's no doubt about it, their talents are once again on full display throughout Formosa's 39 minute runtime.
I could rattle off a list of tricks you may not have seen yet or write at length about the incredible performances in this video without ever doing it justice. This is something you'll have to see for yourselves. So I'll focus on what I can in the hope that it'll convey to you why the skating should be left to speak for itself.
After first assembling this international lineup of bladers in 2015 the third entry in The Cayenne Project is an intimate look into how these guys have continued to develop as a tight-knit crew that not only gel but bring out the best in each other’s skating. It does a fantastic job of capturing what it's like to find yourself off on a skate trip with a group of close friends.
Formosa is not your favorite video from the 90’s, you know the ones I’m talking about, full of enough charm, humor and memorable tricks to make up for a lack of cohesion or any technical flaws therein. It’s a mature approach to what a skate video can be, bringing equal measures of skill, self-awareness, and passion to the table.
Much like the current state of the sport it aims to showcase, there’s a sense of grounded humility to Formosa that can only be found in a sport whose remaining stars do it, not for wealth or glory, but because it’s a part of who they are. This is bolstered by some well placed voiceovers and on screen insights from the crew, which brings me to my final points.
Formosa’s pacing is excellent. Each segment flows into the next with artfully deliberate execution and feels like a high budget studio production. So much so that you might need to watch it a second time to appreciate just how seamlessly it’s done. The soundtrack neither overpowers the skating nor does it ever feel misplaced. Like a cold beer and good conversation, it’ll age without losing it’s appeal. Whether they know it or not Boysen & Büttner are making the new classics.
I'll wrap this up now by recommending this to anyone who thinks the era of the full length rollerblading video is behind us. Go watch Formosa, because if those days are gone nobody told The Cayenne Project.
Written by Daniel Nodzak for Blader Union.
Editors note: Blader Union was provided a press copy of this video for the purpose of reviewing and reporting. The views expressed in this review are those solely of it's author.