Why Rip Curl's New Vid Is the Best Thing Since Doped Youth/Sliced Bread, Mick Fanning Glides a McTavish Single-Fin, and Kelly Slater Sprints up the Beach!

27 Aug 2020 1 Share

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer

COASTALWATCH | THIS WEEK IN SURFING

Ten Things from Surfing & the Internet on the Week That Was August 28 2020

1. Postcards From Morgs Makes Surf Videos Fun Again

Remember when surf videos were fun? Stupid, and fun? Postcards From Morgs remembers.

The new Rip Curl movie for their Search series makes use of a couple of things – a world restricted to no travel, a relatively unknown rookie CT surfer on the team with no CT to be a rookie on, and a creative decade-long Surfing World editor, free from mag commitments to write creative surf movies again – to make the best surf video in recent memory. At least it's the best surf video for fans of a kinda, Australiana-soaked, taking-the-piss surf culture a lot of us grew up on and were enamoured by.

But it's better than stupid jokes and taking the piss. You've got to be clever to make things this silly that don't suck. Indulge me for a second while I spend too much time unpacking one little moment from this vid, and why that feels important for people who love surf movies too much, like me:

When the movie opens with a dream sequenced Endless Summer parody (with an uncredited Tom Curren doing the Bruce Brown narration no less), it taps into something we don't get enough of as surf fans. We've all spent our lives seeing things we care about referenced by other things. Damn near every episode of golden era Simpson's is a reference to another piece of pop culture. But surfing being a niche culture, we rarely get to see it parodied like this. Yet at the same time, surfing is full of rich iconic texts ripe for referencing. And Endless Summer is A no.1. (Not only that, the classic Bruce Brown film is at the core of the longrunning and culture defining "Search" creative Rip Curl makes its ethos, even if that's not ever overtly spoken about).

But seeing Mick, Owen and the team, walking over sand dunes with that ripped Endless Summer theme – even sliding down the dunes on their boards just like Hynson and August did – it's an in-joke just for us.

I've watched that Cape St. Francis sequence hundreds of times, it might be the most iconic sequence of film to my life. But outside of Endless Summer 2, I've never seen it replicated for a laugh. Think for a second, just how many times you've seen the shower scene from Psycho, Darth Vader saying "No, I am Your Father", or Rocky running triumphantly up the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps, and you get what I'm feeling here.

Australian cinema academics are always going on about the importance of seeing ourselves, and our stories, reflected back to us on screen. From the outset, Postcards For Morgs does just that, letting us know, if you're into surfing, you're in for a really fun time. And I wish there was more of it.

The problem is you need someone who is equally all-consumed by and obsessed with surf culture, and who understands dumb pop-comedy and how to write it (without that part, you're perhaps left with the Mad Hueys of the world, which too has its place). In a surf culture that's become increasingly serious and conservative as its grown ever wider, popular and mainstream, it's too rare.

More recent exponents of this type of surf vid are Sterling Spencer (Surf Madness, 2011) and Toby Cregan (Nix Nic Nooley, 2015) .

Blakey owns the genre now though. He and Ozzie Wright wrote and directed cult classic Doped Youth as a covermount for Waves in the early 2000s. Towards the end of his tenure at Surfing World, he and Danny Johnson put together the unique movie and album project Scary Good (which Beach Grit called the movie of 2017), and since leaving SW, he's helped put together a slay of Search clips, including the Mick Fanning and Mason Ho G-Land movie, Red Monkey Full Moon. But with Postcard From Morgs, we lean back hard into the full blown silly surf movie that made Doped Youth a cult classic, but also made revered creative surf vids of the past like Mad Wax and Kong's Island cultural touchstones. It's an important, and FUN part of our history.

Am I reading too much into this? Most definitely. I'll stop writing now before I accidentally drop 1500 words on this thing. But before I go, I might just chuck in a list of my favourite parts of this movie:

– The surfing of Tyler Wright.
– The screencap of Owen Wright saying, "I think I left my Gath in the car, ay."
– The brilliantly cut race sequence between Morgan Cibilic and Molly Picklum.
– The Matt McGillivray line: "That was not a very lekker thing for Morgan to say to me, that was not a very nice thing to say at all..."
– Mick Fanning's delivery of, "Whenever you're ready, whenever you're ready, I'll drop everything just to come hang with you man..." down the phone.
–And every single over-enthusiastic line delivered by Morgan.

I'm frothing. Thank you for listening to my surf movie Ted Talk. I'll let myself out.

2. Mick Surfing a McTavish Single Fin at Lennox Is Awesome

"You can see why it's a classic, it drove like cadillac..."

You might might recall the inaugural FCS Shaper Awards that were run near on a year ago. It included the Legend Award which Bob McTavish took out, (and the Icon Award, which was given to Jon Pyzel).

Bob McTavish is of course a pioneer of surfboard shaping and design, his revolutionary affect on the sport and culture going back all the way to the 1960s.

Part of the whole deal was that Bob would shape a board for Mick Fanning, and would you have a look at the swell that hit the North Coast of NSW on the day Mick rolled up to check out what Bob had made! Three time World Champ Mick Fanning, on a beautiful McTavish single fin, at a long pumping pointbreak? This is a dream.

3. A Full Movie of New Zealand Road-Trippy Goodness From Torren Martyn

“We were shocked to stumble across a perfect little river mouth backed by snow-capped mountains and not another soul in sight..."

Torren Martyn, with the help of wetty sponsor needessentials and filmmaker Ishka Folkwell, is cementing himself as the king of the wanderlusty surf adventure movie. This week they dropped a full, hour-long feature that makes you want to drop everything and go surf-exploring with a mate.

4. Alex Knost Joined Vans Head to Toe

Alex Knost has been with Vans for nearly 15 years, but this week he joined them head to toe, and then dropped a fuzzy welcome to the team-type logging video.

5. Part 2 In Bonython's Winter

Tim Bonython, the ultimate camera wielding swell chaser, has been in his absolute element this winter. These are his pretty epic highlights from Tuesday August 11 starring Max McGuigan, Kirk Flintoff, Hayden Blair, Lucas Street and Kipp Caddy. Surfing starts at 4.55, but the first five minutes of vibe-setting is worth watching too.

6. Red Bull Big Wave Awards, Morning After Show

Join Kaipo Guerrero as he strolls over to Jamie O'Brien's house to disect the Red Bull Big Wave Awards with the Pipe legend. It's a pretty fresh format that works, which has been on of the silver linings of the worldwide limitations imposed on these kinds of things by Covid-19.

7. RIVALS Episode Three – Nathan Hedge

"If you thought these guys were good on the World Tour, wait till you see what they can do at home!"

The rad new and innovative show RIVALS hits us with episode 3 (of a full 13). This week its the Hog's turn – he stays at home at Narrabeen to register his two hours of surf-time and log his three best waves. He also tells some classic stories from growing up in Narrabeen and his career on tour. You can vote on Hedgey's three waves at mysurf.tv/rivals

8. Coco Ho on How To Surf Better

The WSL content machine gave Coco Ho the reins this week. This is an easy win strategy, every time. Just follow the rule: when in doubt, put the Hos on camera.

9. Fresh Footage of the Surf Lakes Pool

That's a pretty decent tube...

10. Kelly Slater Sprints Up the Beach

As I searched the internet for valuable new surfing content that had been uploaded to the internet in the past week, I spotted this YouTube clip, titled: Kelly Slater Sprints Up the Beach. It was uploaded just a couple of days ago, by the International Surfing Association's official YouTube account.

The title was interesting to me. "Kelly Slater sprints up the beach." "This could really be anything," I thought.

"Kelly Slater sprints up the beach," I repeated in my mind.

"Kelly Slater sprints up the beach," I said it aloud, to the empty room around me.

"Kelly Slater sprints up the beach," I typed it out in a blank document, just to see what it felt like.

"Kelly Slater sprints up the beach"

I finally gave it a click, and guess what... it was a video of Kelly Slater. Sprinting. Up the beach. 

Thank you, ISA. Thank you for finding these 55 seconds from the 2019 ISA World Games and uploading it to YouTube. Thank you, dear internet, for being so aggressively bizarre, always.

And that was this week in surfing. Have a good weekend everyone.

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