(Re) Watch: Rob Machado’s Turn as Julius Erving in Taylor Steele’s “Focus”!

Feel barely legal Rob's hot breath of your stomach, almost!

Yesterday, the surf filmmaker who defined the nineties, Taylor Steele, announced he’d be gradually uploading his entire catalogue onto his YouTube channel, The Momentum Files. 

So far, there’s an intro to the channel, Kelly Slater in Momentum II and, I think my all-time favourite Taylor Steele part, Rob Machado in Focus, released a quarter of a century ago.

Immediate thought: put ’em in the right waves and long, narrow and curved surfboards…work. 

Second thought: Is Rob in black face/body?

Simpler times!


Watch: Yago Dora in “Hawaii’s the 50th state? I thought it was a suburb of Guam!”

Brazilian jibber and tuber finds ramps and cabanas on his annual North Shore vacay…

Surfing, I think, is lucky to have the Brazilian Yago Dora in its stable. Yago, who is twenty-two years old and the current world number twenty-one, presents as a mix between Craig Anderson and Noa Deane wrapped up with a sort of Chippa Wilson-esque aptitude for x-rated frivolity above the lip.

In this four-minute short, which was filmed on the North Shore in late 2018, we see the glamorously raging Dora (whom you first thrilled to in the 2015 Volcom film Physic Migrations) proving there is no joy in playing it safe.


Jamie O’Brien vs Ben Gravy in “New York is a sucked orange!”

Flame-haired King of Pipe leaves swell of the year to go tanker surfing in New York with the vlogger Surfer magazine hates!

Of all the Jamie O vlogs, this captures, I think, the essence of the weekly video: a mostly pointless snapshot of famous surfers squeezing often unripe oranges for whatever juice they can get.

Here, we see a cross-pollination of surf vlog stars Jamie O’Brien and Ben Gravy as Jamie and filmer cross the Pacific Ocean to meet Gravy in New Jersey and, later, to travel together to New York.

Gravy, you know as the vlogger Surfer magazine ghosted at their annual awards last month when they refused to include him among the nominations for best web series, which was eventually won by Rip Curl’s The Search.

“(Rejection) formed me into the person I am today. I am a self-made person. I started that way and I’ll probably end that way,” said Ben.

Jamie’s vlog, of course, is a guilty treat like taking out your surfboards and laying them tenderly on the bed or hard kisses that leave little flecks of blood on your lips.

Watch as Jamie goes to New Jersey, gets cold, goes to New York, follows squirrels and, as a finale, rides a one-foot wave next to a tanker.

A highlight of the episode is his response to subscribers’ questions.

Morgan King writes, “Jamie comes off as a self centred tool to be honest.”

Another asks how he handled being dropped-in on at Pipe by a bodyboarder.



Watch NZ shredder Kehu Butler in, “Hello, Gorgeous!”

Meet a surfer from New Zealand whose tang may be sweeter even than the fabled Ricardo Christie!

This four-minute short of the up-and-coming surfer Te Kehukehu Butler is made by the Gold Coast-based filmer Billy Lee-Pope, whose name you might’ve seen on our Anonymous clips.

Billy, who grew up at Raglan, and Te, who is eighteen and from Mount Maunganui and who finished fifth at the World Juniors, spent one year working on this edit.

“I met Kehu about a year ago through a mutual friend who was staying with me on the Gold Coast. Kehu is a good kid, he’s a classic, hard case, typical, Maori,” says Billy, 20, who got into the camera jockey biz  when he was twelve when he got a hand-me-down Sony point and shoot that had a video option. “When I was 18 I purchased a DSLR set up just for fun, but eventually the excitement of doing surf trips and creating little surf edits got the better of me and I dropped out of my first year of marketing to pursue when I was 20!”

It’s a sprightly catalogue.

Watch big-waver Natxo Gonzalez in: “I will have my glory day in the hot sun!”

Swollen muscle pressing against lungs! Perfect ten at Nazare! Follow the Basque gunslinger on the big-wave world tour.

In this compelling twelve-minute short, we follow the Basque surfer Naxto Gonzalez as he competes in the first two events of the big-wave tour, at Nazaré, Portugal, and Jaws, which is on the island of Maui, in the United States of America.

At Nazaré, Natxo, who is twenty-three, knifes a ten in his semi, and eventually finishes third; at Jaws, we go behind-the-scenes of that rather odd day where the event was cancelled because the waves were too big, the contest being finished in what Albee Layer described as “windy, small, average.

Natxo has a bit of an Owen Wright moment. He wipes out, goes home, spends the next day crawling around in agony. He is eventually hospitalised with some sort of swollen muscle pressing against his lungs.