High Rider | Nowness

A blissed-out skate trip through Hawaii’s palm tree-lined boulevards

“I think skating and smoking both function as a means of escape,” says director Bradley Tangonan of the stoned narrative of High Rider, shot on the island of Oahu and starring model and Hawaiian native Nalani Ravelo. “As she rides, her fears, anxieties and paranoia manifest themselves in the characters she encounters, both real and imagined.”

“Skating and smoking both function as a means of escape”

The past year has seen the most radical shift in the global attitude to marijuana in recent history, from US states Washington and Colorado joining the list of those decriminalizing recreational use of the drug, to the internet-aided buzz around “420,” a code for the “toke-worthy” time of day (4:20pm) that is used in Twitter bios and Instagram handles to align oneself with cannabis use.

“The less taboo marijuana is, the less it will lend itself to obsession and compulsion”

“One fear seems to be that legalization will turn everyone into catatonic wastes, but I think that the less taboo marijuana is, the less it will lend itself to obsession and compulsion,” says the Brooklyn-based filmmaker, whose film is soundtracked by North Carolina noise-pop artist Jackson Scott’s “PRPLMTV.”


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