Clipz: Random Selections

Greetings, Shredderz! Here’s a rundown of some of my favorite surf and surfboard-related videos in recent memory.

There’s a good chance that some of you will see a Firewire Surfboards video and want to throw up in your mouths a little bit. Sorry but I’m not sorry. It’s particularly hard to feel any remorse when Rob Machado has made such a graceful transition to middle age, partially due to his embrace of alternative designs. I love watching him surf this mid-length fish. I continue to be fascinated by Machado’s insistence on dropping edits with below average waves when every other surfer in the world has to go halfway around the world to find something worthy of an Instagram post. Anyway, Machado’s Seaside and Beyond model looks super fun. I love the relaxed takeoffs, coupled with the ability to fly past flat sections, and finally a shocking amount of maneuverability in the turns. Here’s a different clip of Machado explaining the genesis of the new Seaside and Beyond model.

For more talented San Diego surfer / shapers, here’s Ryan Burch weighing in on a couple of different topics. I can’t believe Slater asked Burch to make him a longboard! I don’t think I’ve ever seen footage of Slater surfing anything other than super high performance equipment, so I hope Burch reconsiders his stance of declining to shape the stick.

If you’d rather watch Ryan Burch surf than talk, then hopefully the above clip scratches that itch for you. Personally I’m a fan of both!

The power balance in the surf media seems to be shifting away from the legacy outlets, which mostly have their roots in print, towards YouTube series from individual surfers. There’s a lot of good stuff out there, but even in this crowded field Mason Ho stands out. Like the other surfers mentioned above, Ho is pretty open-minded when it comes to his equipment. In this day and age when Pipe step up boards are barely over six feet, Mason seems to relish going longer than a lot of his contemporaries. Here he surfs a 6’9″ Matt Biolos board whose length and rocker seem like they’d be a better fit in an early Taylor Steele flick. Also, Mason appears to have more fun than anyone when it comes to actually surfing, and that always makes him a pleasure to watch.

Surfer Magazine’s “Handmade 2”

Greetings, Shredderz! We don’t have that much for you, just a tip to check out a great new video from Surfer Magazine. I’m proud to say I just re-upped my subscription to the Bible of the Sport. As long as Surfer is putting out content, I’m there with some hard-earned cash — especially when it’s this good!

“Handemade 2” is the follow up to, you guessed it, “Handmade”, which I covered earlier this year. “Handmade 2” features a stacked lineup of surfer / shapers piloting some of their creations through some dreamy waves: Alex Knost, on some Campbell Brothers-inspired Bonzers; Andrew Doheny, of Slobcraft; Shyama Buttonshaw, an Aussie ripper based out of Bells Beach; and Ellis Ericson, whose recent experiments with Greenough-style edge boards were documented in the excellent “On the Edge of a Dream” project.

Anyway, enough from me: you can watch “Handmade 2” in its entirety below.

Photo at the top of the page features Alex Knost and it originally appeared on the YouTube link you see above.

Clipz: NYC Duct Tape & More

Greetings, Shredderz! Let’s cut the small talk and get to it, shall we? Keep reading for some surf vids I’ve recently discovered and/or enjoyed.

Skip Frye Drone Footage

This is a simple, modest little edit but I got such a huge thrill out of it. I think drone cinematography can get a little out of hand at times, but I love the way the aerial footage complements Skip’s timeless lines. There’s something striking about that big yellow board against the backdrop of the ocean on a mellow, uncrowded day.

“A State of Play” by Drew McPherson / Nathan Henshaw

Need Essentials are the folks behind the excellent Torren Martyn edits you’ve probably seen recently. (For what it’s worth, Martyn also got a big feature in the latest issue of The Surfer’s Journal, which is definitely worth a read.) Here, surfer Drew McPherson explores some lesser-known Aussie lineups. I particularly dig the footage with the blue mid-length board.

Beau Cram for O’Riginals

Speaking of Aussies, does anyone do slang better than our friends south of the equator? The caption for this video, which was released as part of O’Neill’s new “O’Riginals” series, describes Beau Cram as “the son of Eighties power mongrel Richard Cram.” Sadly, my below-average surfing means no one will ever describe me as a power mongrel, but this cool little edit helps ease the pain a bit. I like the J Bay portion, where Cram rides a sweet 6’8″ Christenson Surfboards Long Phish through some classic conditions.

Vans Duct Tape Invitational New York by Stab Magazine

By all accounts this fall has been an epic one for New York surfing. As an Empire State native turned California transplant, I’m always looking for an excuse to shine the spotlight on the East Coast. Joel Tudor and Vans’ Duct Tape Invitational came to Rockaway Beach in between epic swells, and the video above spotlights some of the contestants and their shapes. It’s a cool look at an eclectic and talented crowd with equipment to match.

Fast and Loose by Surfer Magazine: Clipz

Greetings, Shredderz! Here are some of the best surfboard-related videos I’ve found online recently, starting with a must-watch from Surfer Magazine.

“Fast and Loose” by Surfer Magazine / Quiksilver

This one is worth grabbing a seat for. Surfer Magazine and Quiksilver present a nice fifteen minute mini-documentary on Mark Richards. Before Slater came along and redefined the sport Richards was the single most successful competitor in the history of surfing. Moreover, MR won four consecutive world titles on self-shaped equipment, which is a truly mind-blowing feat. I love the fact the movie also features current day pros Zeke Lau and Kael Walsh taking some MR boards through their paces. You can actually enter a raffle to win the board Lau surfed; more details here.

“Catch Fish” by William Aliotti and Ryan Lovelace

This is a short but sweet edit in which surfer William Aliotti threads some thumpin’ Indian Ocean tubes on a Ryan Lovelace-shaped twin fin fish.

Devon Howard by NobodySurf

I really like watching Devon Howard surf. He’s the new WSL Longboard Tour commissioner, and he has the chops to back up the gig. As much as I like watching him on a longboard, I actually prefer Howard’s surfing on mid-lengths. I love the smooth, unhurried style and the way he links one solid turn after another.

Photo of MR at the top of the page by Dan Merkel. You can purchase prints of the photo here and follow Merkel on Instagram here.

Clipz: Ingleby Family Heirlooms and More

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ve got an assortment of videos for you. Every time I sit down to write a new Clipz entry I’m always stoked at the quantity and quality of new edits. Choosing a handful of favorites invariably means leaving some high quality entrants off the list, like young Hunter Martinez’s new full length film “Lost In Thought.” Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled programming — keep scrolling for some video clips I’ve been enjoying lately, mostly (but not all) having to do with vintage and/or hand shaped surfboards.

Surfer Magazine’s “Alternative Lines” featuring Harley Ingleby

Shout out to Surfer Magazine, which could easily coast by on its laurels but still produces some of the best surf content out there. This clip is a peek at two-time ASP World Longboarding champ Harley Ingleby‘s family quiver. Ingleby’s father has been collecting vintage boards since before Harley was even born. The end result is a tidy snapshot of Australian surf history, a subject I wish I knew more about. (Check out the peerless surfresearch.com.au for your fix of Aussie surf knowledge.) Ingleby takes a Larry Bertlemann twin fin out for a spin, including some nice GoPro footage. He also totes around an interesting looking bonza, as they’re called below the Equator. It’s the same board that can be seen at the photo at the top of the post, which I grabbed from the video. Sadly I can’t quite make out who shaped the bonza. I figure Col Smith and/or Jim Pollard are decent guesses, given their history shaping flowing channel bottom bonzers. See here for a similar looking bonza. Anyway, Ingleby spends most of the video expertly piloting a truly out there twin fin longboard (or “mal”, if you prefer), and the result is an all-around great little flick.

Slater’s Best Day of Surfing Ever, via Taylor Steele / The Momentum Files

As the caption accompanying the video says, “Kelly Slater said if he could re-live one day of his life over and over again forever, this would be it.” Not only is Slater the GOAT, he has probably chased (and scored) more swells than any other human on earth, especially when you consider his Tom Brady-like longevity. This particular session unfolded at Soup Bowls in the Barbados not quite fifteen years ago, I believe. The Momentum Files YouTube channel posts some great selections from Taylor Steele’s filmography. I highly recommend checking it out. This particular clip originally appeared in “Sipping Jetstreams.”

“Mexico” featuring Michael February

February has been featured more than a few times in the Clipz series, thanks to his stylish surfing. This clip is no exception.

Clipz: Here and There

Greetings, Shredderz! Welcome to the latest installment of Clipz, where we’ll be serving up a heaping helping of tasty surfboard related videos. Kick back, relax and press play.

By now you are probably familiar with Ryan Lovelace, the young Santa Barbara-based shaper with a ridiculous waitlist and a passionate following for his entirely hand shaped, often colorful creations. Lovelace, along with photographer Morgan Maassen and surfer / artist Trevor Gordon, just released a sweet little clip titled “Dusts of Gold”, which you can watch above. I wrote up an earlier Gordon video effort in a previous entry. Maassen just might be my favorite surf photographer from this current generation from photogs; he’s responsible for the gorgeous photo you see at the top of the page, which I found via his Instagram account.

“Dusts of Gold” features a truly out-there Lovelace shape that will win you any game of surf hipster bingo: it’s a side cut edge board flex tail twin fin. Jokes aside, the board looks blazing fast under Gordon’s feet, and Maassen makes Rincon look downright romantic, crowds and all. It’s really cool to see a clip showing the full lifecycle of a board from its inception to its eventual journeys on some of California’s most iconic waves.

I loved this clip of Rob Machado messing around on a single fin in some strictly mediocre waves. I hate to say that it feels relatable, because, well, it’s Machado, man, but there’s something very nice — relaxing, even — about seeing ultra talented surfers ride waves that aren’t above my pay grade. Post-tour, Machado has taken a strong interest in alternative shapes, and I’m always excited to see what he’s surfing.

Likewise, there’s something special about this clip of Machado surfing his Go Fish model in a dreamy French lineup. Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s a Firewire. But I’d like to think that I can support both the traditional craftsmanship of hand made surfboards from local shapers, as well as companies that innovate and try new things. Hot button topics aside, I love the soft European afternoon lighting, the welcoming green of the ocean, and Machado’s unhurried style on some small but super fun waves.

Tesoro Enterrado starring Torren Martyn

I won’t be offended if any of you don’t even bother to read this entry. If you click play on the video above and call it a day, I’ll be happy. I’m just here to spread the gospel about “Tesoro Enterrado”, an excellent new surf video brought to you by Torren Martyn, Perry Gershkow, and the good folks at Need Essentials. As someone with the attention span of a fruit fly, I’ve been loving these mini-edits, which are long enough to get deep, but can also easily be consumed in one sitting.

Look, I get it: gushing about Martyn’s relaxed style and his mid-length channel bottom twin fins is about as hipster as it gets. But watch the video and tell me Martyn doesn’t absolutely rip. His unhurried, relaxed style alternates between being hypnotic and mind-blowing. And yes, you bet your butt I dig the boards he’s riding, which were shaped by Simon Jones under the Morning of the Earth Surfboards label.

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“Tesoro Enterrado” is also a reminder that surfboards are merely a means to the ultimate end of riding waves. I realize that sounds a little strange coming from a guy who spends his free time writing about old surfboards, but it’s true. So while my natural instinct is to pause the video and zoom in for a closer look at Martyn’s fin templates, what really matters is that Simon Jones’ twin fins enable the timeless, graceful surfing you see throughout the clip.

Finally, as a bonus, here’s an earlier Torren Martyn edit.

Self Discovery & More: Clipz

Greetings, Shredderz! As someone who grew up in the pre-internet age — barbaric, I know — there were few things I looked forward to more than getting a new issue of Surfer Magazine in the mail. That has all changed, of course. I still love Surfer and its peers, but like anyone else who has watched the internet take a buzzsaw to print, I can’t help but get a little nervous about the future of surf media.

There is a silver lining, however, and that is the incredible explosion of surf related video content available online. Gone are the days when you would plunk down $30 and simply cross your fingers that whatever video you bought turned out to be a good one. I think we can all agree that we’re living in a golden age of surf videos, and I couldn’t be happier about that. Without any further ado, here are some recent clips that caught my attention, as part of the latest installment in the Clipz series.

Surfer / shaper Zack Flores takes a variety of self-shaped sleds down to Mainland Mexico’s famous sand bottom points, and the results are too fun to watch. You’ve probably seen pros rip these spots, but it’s cool to see someone take some alternative surf craft for a spin in these wonderful waves. Oh, yeah…and he’s surfing switch! Ridiculous.

I am eager to see the first video from New York’s Pilgrim Surf Supply, a great surf shop located in the heart of Williamsburg. This is actually about to premier in just a few minutes, as of the time I am writing this post. Click here for more info via Pilgrim’s site.

Here’s Shawn Stussy talking shop and shaping a sweet looking board. We’re big fans of Señor Stussy here, and this is a cool and rare look at S Double at work inside of his studio.

The above clip has absolutely nothing to do with surfboard design, vintage sticks, or alternative surf craft. But it does feature John John Florence absolutely destroying J Bay’s famous right hand walls. The surfing is ridiculous enough on its own, but when you consider the entire clip was sourced from one single session in 2017, that’s the moment in which you realize Florence is probably a cyborg sent back in time to change the future of surfing.

Clipz: JOB Eighties & More

Here’s a selection of some recent surf videos that caught my eye. Keep scrolling for more.

Jamie O’Brien was ahead of the curve when it came to vlogging — which seems to be an essential part of any up and coming pro’s self-promotion strategy these days — and he’s also collected a bunch of rad Eighties boards on the sly. At some point, JOB was selling this awesome Shawn Stussy thruster that was made for Gotcha founder Michael Tomson. Anyway he takes out some of his toys in some fun North Shore surf in the video above, including what looks like a Larry Bertlemann twin fin.

Craig Anderson and Kai Neville dropped a new clip without any warning, and the reception has been great. I know a lot of vintage surfboard fans don’t care for Firewire and Haydenshapes, but I happen to admire what both brands have done. Check out the last segment, where Anderson pilots an interesting looking Haydenshape single fin through some gorgeous left hand barrels.

This one is just a trailer, and a brief one at that, but I’m intrigued by the release of Fantastic Acid‘s new movie, “Interstellar Low Ways.” Monsieur Acid is based in France, where he shapes hulls, glasses boards, publishes books, and pilots some alternative surf craft through some inviting-looking waves. The film is available on DVD through the Fantastic Acid website.

Holy Smoke: Clipz

Alright Shredderz, let me let you in on a little secret. It relates to one of my all time favorite surf-related accounts on YouTube. This is not a young pro who alternates between demolishing Lowers and then charging death defying Indian Ocean pits. It’s a lot more modest than that. There is something incredibly relatable — and cool! — about Holy Smoke’s YouTube page, and I find myself returning to his videos on a regular basis. I don’t know the gentleman’s name, but he is the owner of a Japanese surf shop named Holy Smoke.

The formula for Holy Smoke’s YouTube videos is as follows: it’s GoPro footage taken somewhere in Southern California; the waves are consistently good, but not amazing; the surfing is solid, but again, not mind blowing; and as a regular foot, he almost always goes right. There’s never any music. The only sound comes from the wind, the waves breaking, and the board moving across water, and the occasional squeak from the GoPro being adjusted. The end resulting is something oddly smoothing and stoke inducing, and I can’t get enough.

I think the reason I dig Holy Smoke’s videos is because they feel more relatable than the standard surf fantasy being peddled by the usual outlets. Now, don’t get me wrong: I love Surfer, Stab, Surfer’s Journal, etc. John John’s “View from a Blue Moon” remains the single best surfing film I have ever seen. That said, I will never surf macking Pipeline, nor do I particularly want to. In some ways, that’s the point, and I enjoy that aspect as much as the next person.

But Holy Smoke’s videos have an attainable quality I find very appealing. It also doesn’t hurt that Holy Smoke wields a quiver of awesome boards, including shapes by folks like Skip Frye, Marc Andreini, Greg Liddle and Josh Hall, to name a few. (Holy Smoke looks to be Hall’s Japanese distributor). See below for a selection of some of my favorite Holy Smoke clips. My only complaint is that he doesn’t film more of them!

This video features a lovely 7’11” Skip Frye swallow tail The board has a beautiful yellow color and a rad pin line to boot. I’m not sure exactly what model it is.

There really isn’t a ton of footage online of people actually surfing Skip Frye boards, although Instagram has some highlights here and there. I love that Holy Smoke takes these Skips through their paces.

Josh Hall is perhaps one of Skip’s best known proteges, and he shapes some pretty epic looking boards.

Thanks for reading and make sure you check out Holy Smoke’s blog, and give him a follow on Instagram, too!

Photo at the top of the page via Holy Smoke’s blog, featuring a lineup of Josh Hall surfboards.