Trekking through the Fijian rainforest. Some footage from my GoPro…
Archive for category: Video
A little time lapse video of the boat fleet behind Waidroka Bay Surf & Dive Resort on Viti Levu, Fiji
A great video -mesmerizing action- featuring the highly technical skills of Dean Morrison, Billy Kemper and Nathan Behl in the recent huge “Swell of the Century” in Indo. Amazing waves, amazing performances. These guys make it look easy. Don’t believe it for a second…
Here’s another great video shared by the folks at surfsleeptravel.com who always find pretty amazing clips. This is Tyler Hollmercross riding the rolling cliffs at Shipstern’s Bluff. Mesmerizing work from Simon Treweek.
Wow, Riley Lang is only 16 years old and he is looking a lot like John John. Looks like he’s riding for Billabong. I think may have a find. Great clip, here.
Since its birth hundreds, if not thousands of years ago, surfboard design has never ceased evolving. From ancient paipos, olos and alaias to modern longboards and shortboards, every new generation of surfers has always looked both forward and backwards in never-ending attempts to find new ways to enhance performance or just have a good time and more unique experience in the water.
These days, experimental boards of remarkable diversity continue to emerge at a breathtaking pace. A glimpse around your local lineup on any given weekend will provide testament to this trend. And for every surfer you might see at home trying out the latest unusual shape, there’s a steady stream of new web clips waiting every time you surf the net to show you how a dozen others are doing it someplace else.
Like most surfers, I appreciate the continuing revolution(s) in board design, including the most recent retro-and post-modern experimentation in shapes and construction. But whenever I witness someone drawing smooth lines on an asymetrical slider, tombstone-style alaia or vintage Steve Lis fish, my focus invariably winds up not on the equipment, but rather the rider and on the transcendent nature and enduring value of great style. And that’s not something you can buy off the rack.
Your shaper can’t imagine or engineer style into you. He can only provide a framework for drawing out your own natural expression of it; an expression fashioned by some inexplicable combination of God, genetics, friends, heroes, the break(s) you grew up surfing and the good or bad memory of 640 different muscles that make up our human bodies.
Great style is magical.
It is hard to define and as unique as our own DNA. At the same time, most of us claim to know great style when we see it, even if it’s served in a thousand different flavors. Clearly, it’s important to us. It’s one reason why an explosive, acrobatic world champion can be criticized for stink stance, while others with air games nowhere nearly as advanced, are routinely recognized as being better overall surfers.
Heck, did Tom Curren ever ascend even ten inches above the lip? More to the point, did he need to? No.
And yet, Curren is still universally heralded as perhaps the second greatest surfer of all time behind only Kelly Slater (witness some of the most stylish tuberiding ever at 7:32), whose unparalleled mix of speed, style, power, flow and explosiveness may never be rivaled.
Great style is transcendent.
It transcends age, gender, body type, wave type, conditions and whatever surf craft it is you might happen to be riding. It typically begins to evidence itself early in our surfing lives and matures as we ourselves do. To be certain, we can all improve our skills and work to refine our style over time, but core style is so ingrained and inherent in each of us that slivers of its true nature will always be revealed, no matter how much time and attention we’ve dedicated to “fixing” our less stylish bad habits.
I can recall two specific instances in my life when the true nature of style presented itself to me in clear, unequivocal fashion–two occasions when I paddled out with different surfers who were regarded as two of the best, most stylish surfers in the area where I grew up. Perhaps not coincidentally, both were pretty decent on a skateboard, as well. Although both were often encouraged, neither had much interest in surfing competitively. They were simply passionate about surfing as an activity and a lifestyle.
Randy, the first fellow, was pretty much an All-American kind of guy–smart, laid back and just a really cool, fun guy to be around. Physically, he was on the short side of average with a compact, athletic build not uncommon to many pro surfers. We agreed to meet out at the Jax Beach Pier one hot summer morning to try and catch a few. But when we arrived, as is the case on so many Florida summer mornings, there was little energy in the ocean, save for the slightest occasional burps from a far-distant SE background swell.
While I almost immediately resigned myself to the fact that there’d be no surfing that day and began weighing our fishing prospects, Randy began waxing up his board saying, “Well, I’m gonna’ go catch a couple. You comin’?”
There was no way I was even going to try–especially being one of only two people who would have in the water at all that morning, trying to ride a swell that was only barely there. But Randy went right about his routine as if it was just another session. He removed his leash from his board and to my surprise, pulled on his baseball cap and sunglasses before trotting down to the water’s edge. And there wasn’t a damn thing pretentious about it.
Randy wasn’t trying to attract attention. He was just trying to beat the blistering Florida sun on a windless summer day. And within two minutes
of paddling out, there he was gliding effortlessly down the line on these periodic, glassy one-and-half-foot bumps; hat dry, sunglasses in place, finding energy where none existed, and turning 360s without displacing a single drop of water, with as much grace and style as you could possibly imagine. It was just all so smooth. I was fully content to just sit there and watch the show. I learned that day that truly great style is unaffected by shitty conditions.
The second instance was with my friend Tony. He was a hipster through and through–a tall (about a full foot taller than Randy) skinny musician / guitarist / vocalist / surfer / skater and independent music connoisseur who oozed charisma. At the same time, like Randy, there was absolutely nothing contrived or self-conscious about him. He was unmistakably, authentically himself and that just happened to be extremely stylish, in and out of the water.
Just like with Randy, Tony and I had decided to meet up for a paddle out, this time a little further up the road at a sandbar behind my dad’s place in Neptune Beach. Tony showed up that afternoon glassy-eyed and ready to have fun. The waves were about 2-3 feet and offering up some really nice peaks.
I was keenly interested in trying out Tony’s board and immediately asked him if that would be ok. I determined to figure out how he could surf so well and learn what his board had to do with it. Was his craft noticeably lighter than mine? Was there something different about his rails that helped make his lines so much more fluid and his turns, so much smoother and arching than mine? Surely, a revelation was at hand. And it was.
Tony handed me what looked to be a standard 6’ thruster- a worn, yellowed beater that I estimated to be about 2-3 years older, a little longer, wider and heavier than my own. In exchange, I gave Tony my board. He wasted little time getting at it, casually paddling over to spot about 15 yards away and beginning to surgically dissect the fun peaks in a manner not altogether different when he was riding his own board.
Meanwhile, to my astonishment, there was no extra “magic” that I could conjure from his board. Nothing helped make my turns look like his, nothing helped me to displace more water or create more symmetrical fans; nothing prevented my dominant right arm from dropping towards my rib cage when I really needed to keep it extended… the writing was on the wall.
Some people were–are–just naturally more stylish than others. Period.
This point was driven mercilessly home when Tony then mentioned the antique longboard hanging in my dad’s garage. I think it must have come with the home when my father purchased it. He certainly hadn’t ridden the thing in years and frankly, I was embarrassed of it, and not curious about it at all.
But Tony was. He wanted to try it out.
I tried to laugh off his suggestion off at first, but he was serious. And so we took it down off the wall. It must have weighed 50 pounds and had faded far past yellow. It was now closer to steam pile brown. I was red-faced as Tony enthusiastically tucked it under his scrawny arm and lugged it across the sand and out into the water.
And just like that, he was up and riding it–his stance and body positioning largely unchanged, like a cat about to pounce as he navigated shifting areas of the waves where opportunities presented themselves to hit open faces, step up to the nose or bend a knee to pull a graceful, flowing turn.
Oh, Tony fell a couple of times. But when he did, it was always with a smile on his face and, well… just a lot of style. He loved riding that monstrous old antique. And he looked every bit as brilliant riding it as he did on his shortboard. Or mine.
I came to the realization that day that great style isn’t necessarily subject to a certain kind of board under your feet. Rather, it is something that lives inside you, and you bring it with you wherever you go and on whatever craft you happen to be riding. If you’ve got great style, it’s going to show up whether you’re on a shortboard, longboard, dick-shaped board, a finless plank, door, or a table. Heck, even with another little human strapped to your back.
And finally, if your style still needs work: Hey, no worries. Just keep on trying, having fun and smiling like the rest of us. After having spent a great portion of the past 30 years in lineups at home and abroad with surfers of every different skill level, I promise you that’s the most effective style-enhancer that any surfer of any ability can ever hope to master.
Note: This post was originally created for, and published on The Inertia. You can see the original, including article response, here: http://www.theinertia.com/surf/matters-of-style-and-the-style-masters/#ixzz3XnthvnWC
This is as beautiful as it is amazing: This fantastically surreal three-and-a-half minute music video was shot in ONE take in just FIVE seconds at 1000 frames per second, from a car traveling at 50 km per hour.
Pretty incredible, huh?
Now go to Siska’s Facebook page to see the actual shot in real time. Genius.
You know, I’ve lived long enough and experienced enough to understand that things are never as good or bad as they seem. Life, for the most part, is what you choose to make of it and there are tradeoffs for almost everything. What you see on the surface doesn’t always accurately reflect exactly what’s underneath.
If you’re a surfer and an adventurer like me, then you’re going to want —you’re going to need— to keep this top-of-mind when you watch this beautiful film from Cyrus Sutton. It leaves me with many questions, but I’m not going to bother asking them. Nope, I’m just going to enjoy it for what it is. Hope you do the same.
To be certain, glory and adrenaline are powerful forces. But is anything worth this?
Boy, if you think Shipsterns is the most mutant wave on the planet, you’d better take a look at “The Right” in Western Australia. Ryan Hipwood got a good view. Wow. For more on this spot, check out this story on Networka.com. Enjoy!
Love this relaxed edit from Jason Lesh, Justin Buulolo, Aloha Aerials and Ryan Meichtry. Nice work! Beautiful waves and barrel riding…
The guys from the Surf Station dug this one up. As Matt O said in his blog, Kelly Slater + Rincon = Endless watchability. So true. Rincon is the perfect break for surfers with perfect style of which Kelly is certainly one. Here’s a clinic on style and form. Nice work Michael Kew and crew.
One of Jacksonville’s best kept secrets is the Catty Shack Wildlife Sanctuary. The Sanctuary (A 501-3 non-profit) is currently home to 40 BIG cats, everything from Siberian Tigers to Lions, to Panthers and many more! None of these cats were born in the wild. Rather, they were taken in to be cared for by the non-profit from a variety of different owners, for a variety of different reasons, primarily because the original owners were no longer able to care for them properly. They are open daily for tours and on Friday and Saturday nights you can go watch them being fed at night ($15/pp). It’s quite a scene. Lots of roaring and growling!We took our girls there with a couple of their friends, and they loved it! Here, a couple of the cats start getting restless just before feeding time…
Any wonder why they call this spot the Mentawai Wavepark? The man in the video getting barreled over and over is Christie Carter, official MD for Mentawai Wavepark. Not a bad place for an office.
Check out this incredible time-lapse video featuring thousands of images from the International Space Station stitched together by french photographer and filmmaker, Guillaume Juin. I’m actually a bit of a space geek, always one to be looking up at the sky and checking out celestial events. I love nature and of course, space, as Gene Roddenberry once wrote (and Captain Kirk said), is the final frontier. Thanks Ryan Ketterman for sharing this one with me. Seeing earth and looking out into our universe this way provides such amazing perspective about our world. It reinforces certain beliefs for me. But, I’ll leave you to watch it and formulate your own thoughts. Enjoy it, and go full-screen if you’re able! It’s spectacular!
I was going through some old files today, updating my business portfolio on Contently, when I came across this old spot I conceptualized and helped produce in 2007. It was for a pitch we created for WestTown- a planned LEED-certified, mixed-used community that was to be Atlanta’s largest residential development in more than a decade (located in the west-Midtown area, thus the name, “WestTown”). The community was going to be a pioneering effort, expected a draw young professionals, artists, creators and those drawn to the development’s trendy urban location in a redeveloping industrialized area, not far from Georgia Tech. This, as well as its “live-work-play” and “sustainable” qualities. We came up with the theme of, “Go West” playing upon the west-Midtown location and the idea of going “west” for “opportunity”, as the neighborhood was going to offer affordable living in an otherwise expensive area. The video was intended to be a teaser for the community that would ultimately be formatted for both web and television. The music track is a song called, “Haley” from the album “Yuppie Ghetto” by the band, War Called Peace. It’s the closing song on the classic surf video, “Searching for Tom Curren”. Marc Rapp, a super-talented friend, NYC-based Creative Director and former employee at my old agency, Renaissance Creative, handled the digital development. We ended up winning the account. Unfortunately, before getting to market, the real-estate bubble burst, forcing the developer, Brock Built Homes, to put the brakes on the project. Atlanta missed out on what would have been a really cool, high-profile, signature neighborhood. Not to mention a fun, innovative marketing campaign.
When it comes to surf cinematography, a few trends have really propelled the medium forward over the last decade- GoPros; UAVs (Drones); and High-Def Super Slo-Mo, such as that which is showcased in this incredible short film from filmmaker, Chris Bryan, revealing the beauty of surfing at 1,000 frames per second.
This. Is. Incredible.
The opening sequence is a break called, Shipstern’s Bluff, located in Tasmania, an island state in Western Australia. I’ve featured other Shipstern’s clips in this blog that are amazing, but this one provides its own unique experience. Shipstern’s is one of the most dangerous and compelling waves on the planet, and watching fearless surfer Mark Mathews navigate this wave’s multiple shelves and jagged rips at the speed of molasses, is quite spectacular. The clip also features Kelly Slater, John John Florence and others. Check it out!
Wow, here’s another great one from Portugal, shot on a lay day at the Moche Rip Curl Pro. Although the winds were bad at the contest site, they were good up the road and a group of touring pros, including Kelly Slater, Taj Burrow, Mick Fanning, Josh Kerr, Kolohe Andino, Jordy Smith and others put on a brilliant display of surfing. The waves look nearly perfect and this crew really showcases how beautiful and FUN the act of surfing can be.
What can you say about this? Kelly Slater is 42 years old and is still the best surfer on the planet. Watch this clip (filmed on a lay day for the ASP / WSL’s Moche Rip Curl Pro in Portugal) for the “PERIOD” to that statement.
It’s funny how he calls out John John Florence at the end of the video. JJF is the heir to Kelly’s throne (only once Kelly decides to relinquish it). They seem to have a great deal of respect for one another, but are competitors and trade a lot of fun barbs, such as when John John called jokingly called Kelly, “Dad” in a recent clip.
Kelly has stated that he wants to surf better at 50 than he did at 40 and at this point, he’s on track to do it. Here he reminds the young guns who’s still the Top Gun.
I’ve posted some spectacular shots and videos of Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz before. Here’s another one. This spot is so naturally beautiful, and the waves look so fun. I had a friend who lived there for a while and he loved it, although he said it could get crowded and competitive in the water. At the same time. There’s multiple places to sit and plenty of room, overall. I think the only issue I’d be concerned with is the COLD water! But for waves like these, in a place like this… bring on the booties!
Wow, this is pretty crazy- a cardboard surfboard! It was designed by legendary surf shaper Jeff Doc Lausch for Signal Snowboards as part of their Cardboard Chaos video series. They are working with a California-based packaging company, Ernest Packaging, to make crazy things out of paper! They already made a paper snowboard, so they pushed it a bit more and built a surfboard, using a honeycomb design. It’s see-through- they say you can sit on it and watch the fish pass beneath you. Most incredibly, it looks like it rides pretty well, too. Check it out!
What can you say about this? Eric Geiselman is one of the Right Coast’s premiere talents. If you want to see some truly phenomenal surfing- explosive, with near flawless style, just click right here and enjoy. The drone (UAV) videography also reveals what lurks below the surface here in Florida- plenty of sharks. New Smyrna Beach in particular has more than it’s share around the inlet, but Eric is clearly having too much fun to notice.
I think the growing use of the aerial videography is going to continue to reveal what we’ve all been surfing over and around for years, without fully knowing it. I think this will probably make many people more uncomfortable; and a lot of people, more comfortable. While I have had a couple of nerve-wracking run-ins with very large sharks over the years, neither I, nor anyone I know personally has ever been bitten, and I know a lot of people who have spent a ton of time in the ocean here, over many years. Like my own personal encounters and the evidence in this video, it leads me to believe that if sharks were really interested in us as a food source, we’d have figured that out upon stepping in the water on most days.