Surf film is our most important art. Let us celebrate accordingly.
Film is an incomparably important part of the surf experience. It shows us what we can achieve, how high we can soar, how beautifully we can dance. Film elevates, teaches, inspires and connects us all. We may be scattered around God’s blue earth but when we watch a movie or a clip, we watch it together as one. Film makes us who we are.
And it is with all this gravitas in mind that your humble servants at BeachGrit have spent the last two years compiling a list of the 5 best surf clips of all time. We have watched every second and discussed relative merits, bouncing our thoughts off experts in the field, polling professional surfers, analyzing and painstakingly measuring. While our exact methodology will be kept secret it is my great privilege to present you with our findings.
5. Kelly Slater gets beat up by bodyboarder Paul Roach.
Feel free to watch the entire clip from Kelly in Taylor Steele’s near-masterpiece Momentum but the clip from this film that makes it onto the list of best ever is the first 40 odd seconds. Paul Roach’s technique is near flawless. Artful.
4.Gary Busey dodges draft.
Big Wednesday is a classic. The movie captures the essence of what it means to be a surfing scofflaw and while Jan-Michel Vincent was its handsome star and went on to have many great successes Gary Busey steals his thunder here.
3. Bodhi surfing Bells Beach.
The Hundred Year Storm that was prophesied in the original Point Break film was everything. Our hearts were in our throats as Bodhi and John Utah tussled on the sand a we were all winners that they did not move the event to Winkipop that day. Vaya con dios.
2. Mahalo you fucking surfers.
You goddamn nerds. This sums up everything. It is us and it is beautiful to behold. Kenny Power titty fucking the wave. Sponging up the ocean with his big ol’ dick. It is perfection. Clean, simple perfection.
1. Shaun Tomson + Shane Dorian.
In a surprise to no one who actually surfs, the great Shaun Tomson having a heart-felt chat with Shane Dorian is the best surf clip of all time. If you don’t have tears in your eyes after watching then you are not a surfer at all. You are just a goddam nerd.
And, today, after his third place at the Oi Rio Pro, Yago will now compete at the OuterKnown Fiji Pro as a wildcard.
From the presser…
Yago Dora (BRA) caused a sensation as a wildcard at the Oi Rio Pro where he wreaked havoc by eliminating three WSL Champions, Mick Fanning (AUS), Gabriel Medina (BRA) and John John Florence (HAW) en route to the Semifinals, where he was defeated by eventual winner Adriano De Souza (BRA). “I’m very thankful that the WSL has given me the wildcard to compete in Fiji,” said Yago. “Qualifying for the CT is my dream and another chance to surf against my heros in Fiji is unbelievable. I went to Fiji already this year to surf Cloudbreak. I didn’t get it perfect, but I got an idea of what the waves can do. I can’t wait for the event.”
Fanning, three-time WSL Champion, was eliminated by Dora at Saquarema and had this to say about the young Brazilian: “I only started hearing about him (Dora) a couple of years ago – little snippets here and there,” Fanning said. “But to see him live…he’s the real deal. He’s a great surfer, and to take out as many World Champions as he did, that’s not something to sneeze at. I think he has a bright future. He’s only young, and he’s going to get really good. It’s exciting. I really like seeing the young guys come up and throwing a cat amongst the pigeons.” Dora will take on current WSL No. 2 Jordy Smith (ZAF) and Kanoa Igarashi (USA) in Heat 5 of Round 1.
Let’s re-watch Yago’s road to almost glory in Rio here.
Is there someone in your family whose star shines so much brighter than your own? Who steals the air from the reunion when they walk in? Who throws everything you’ve tried to accomplish in your life into sharp relief?
There is someone in mine. My slightly older cousin and his name is Dan Courson.
I used to mock him and call him Nurse Dan because he went to school and got a nursing degree but the joke was really on me because you want to know what Nurse Dan did next?
He robbed 21 banks in Orange and San Diego counties.
That might be more banks than I have ever even been inside. 21 banks and then he got caught but tried to escape by faking appendicitis but then got tackled in the parking lot by what he said was a San Diego State track star. I found it somewhat hard to believe that a San Diego State track star was working as a hospital jail guard but Matt Warshaw once told me the only reason anyone goes to San Diego State is to drink beer and surf so maybe.
I visited him in the hoosegow once and drank coffee with him a few times after he did his eight years. It always seemed like a bargain to me, by the way. Eight years for 21 banks plus an attempted escape.
He seemed down on his possibilities in the world but I told him to chin up. He was a bank robber and I was a surf journalist. His possibilities smoked mine. He nodded while looking into the distance and gave me a half-hearted, “Yeah.”
And then he became an art and jewel thief. A bank robber. An art thief. A jewel thief. It was like all my favorite Pierce Brosnan characters got rolled into one.
And then he got written about in a Mormon newspaper. Let’s read the Deseret News together.
Police say a “highly intelligent” Park City con man befriended a fine-art aficionado with a severe illness, then waited until the ailing collector stepped out one day and robbed his Southern California home of about $1 million in jewelry, checkbooks, cash and top-dollar paintings.
The June 2015 heist hit a snag.
The homeowner returned before Daniel David Courson could finish loading the haul, including “large amounts of cash,” in a stolen silver Tacoma, authorities said. Courson fled before police arrived.
Now, Park City officers say Courson is living in their upscale Utah mountain town. On Monday, they believed they were about to nab the suspect who is in his early 40s, but someone tipped Courson off beforehand and he eluded them.
“He is highly intelligent and able to reinvent himself in new towns wherever he goes,” Tustin police said in a Tuesday prepared statement.
Wait. Did Pierce Brosnan ever steal from anyone with a severe illness? Is Surf Journalist Chas cooler than Nurse Dan again?
The World Surfing Games, held by the International Surfing Association, are currently underway in Biarritz, France and you don’t care. But let’s turn to our very own DrunkenAngel for further analysis.
we need an article about the isa champs. ffs there are fuckers in this comp who cannot even paddle out past the whitewater and surf worse than my 90 year old grandmother during another raging hemorrhoid infection. this is what the world will see for the olympics? there are people sponsored who literally surf worse than chas. wtf? and the crowds. not one. not two. but noone at all on the beach. NOONE. fucking pony wanking championships get more fans watching. this aint the olympic spirit. this is goddamn leftover spermatoza after a shameful wank to 90s porn magazine – yes, print – spirit. i am not a fucking elitest. we all suck. and sucky surfing is fine. but dont go fucking declaring this is somehow elite or even gutter level surfing. if someone manages to do an air reverse they’ll shit their diapers.
Real quick, are you saying I can get sponsored? And also the phrase “we all suck. and sucky surfing is fine. but dont go fucking declaring this is somehow elite or even gutter level surfing.” is inspired.
But lastly, the World Surfing Games got me thinking about surfers, in general, and the idea of nationalism. Is the modern nation-state, Westphalian sovereignty for our purposes, antithetical to our core selfishness?
Like, could you ever be bothered to cheer country over personality? Oh of course we cheer against nationalities from time to time (Brazil) but that is only because many of us are white and deeply fearful of the impeding loss of global domination.
Could you ever, though, proudly wave your country’s flag when it came to surfing? I think America is great (again) and all, I ain’t no self-loather and will always/forever cheer Clifton James Hobgood but…. I don’t know. I just can’t be fucked with the rest of it.
Plus, let’s be honest, only America, Australia and Brazil have enough legitimately good surfers to matter. Three countries in the whole wide world.
But am I wrong? Is nationalism the future of surfing?