Watch: Sterling Spencer in “Journal of a pointless life!”

Wrung dry by depression, the wonderful Sterling Spencer heads to secret island…

In this trailer for an upcoming film by the surfer-comic Sterling Spencer called Join the Dance, and which may or may not be completed this year, we find a curious introspection.

This isn’t a grab-bag of comic moments such as the Spurned Child that offended Jeremy Flores so much he choked out Sterling.

Or the order-a-pizza-while-tubing gag.

Sterling, see, suffers depression and this movie, which centres around Sterling meditating on an island, is gonna be shortish on jokes.

In an interview with Surfer magazine’s Todd Prodanovitch, whom I fell in the deepest platonic like with during our mutual Surf Ranch session last November, Sterling explains his motivation.

“I was really depressed when I had my son, and that totally freaked me out. I was thinking, “This should be the best thing that’s ever happened to me, why do I feel so depressed?” I’d tried everything, but nothing really helped that much until I started meditating. I had this clear moment when I realized that I wasn’t my mind, I wasn’t the person talking–I was just watching this person talking. So then who is this person watching, you know? My perspective really changed. I went to this little island–a little secret spot with waves–and I just camped out, searching within myself. I was having my Rob Machado “Drifter” moment. [Laughs.] But on the island, there was this guy who shoots photos of birds, since they fly through there as they migrate to Mexico. We kind of knew each other before, but we became good friends. He was filming me surfing when he wasn’t shooting these birds, so he kind of organically caught me finding my connection with the present moment and with real life.”


“My whole life I was always trying to win a heat or get the clip, which is an ego-based fulfillment. I realized that’s why I wasn’t being fulfilled by surfing like I was when I was a kid. When you’re a kid, you’re very present and you’re surfing just to surf–you are completely open to that experience. Whatever the ocean throws at you, you’re excited to experience it, and I think I lost that when I became a pro surfer. When I let all of that go, surfing was suddenly, like, “Whoa, what is this?” I’ve felt this shift in my surfing where it’s become the ultimate meditation for me. Meditation is just the bridge toward peace within ourselves–a bridge toward the now.”

It’s a lovely interview. Read the rest here. 


Taj Burrow to Mark Occhilupo: “I never considered myself a challenger. I was in awe of you!”

Taj and Occ talk serious injury, the merits (or none) of having children and the pain (or none) of never winning a title…

Once a podcast, now with vision, the Occ-cast demonstrates Mark Occhilupo’s great trait, his likability. He’s a terrible interviewer, mostly. He drifts off mid-question, interrupts with his own anecdotes, peers at his computer screen throughout, examining the next question while the previous is being played out thereby losing any sort of storytelling thread.

And yet, the show is compelling for we, and his interview subjects, will forgive Occ, the campest straight man alive let’s face it, for all his flaws.

In this episode we see a relaxed Taj Burrow, now forty years old, and who has known Occ, fifty-two, for coming on thirty years, light up on the usual topics: the knee injury that has kept him out off a surfboard since June (“There was a bunch of lightning bolts in my leg. I was floating there. I knew it was serious”), why he is dubious of the merits of more than one child (“I retired so I could chase waves and get tubed. And children don’t give you that freedom”) and why he doesn’t give a damn hoot about never winning the world title.

“I don’t feel one bit concerned about not winning a world title. I didn’t feel like that kind of person. I feel like my surfing’s hot and cold and I can’t maintain confidence for a while year. It shook me up at the time because it was so close. What do I need to do? I don’t really care now. I’ve done it all. I’ve experienced the highs and lows of competing and I’m happy to’ve made a career out of surfing. I couldn’t be happier. So satisfied. It doesn’t shake me up at all.”

Watch Jack Freestone in killer Waco pool: “Dreams of Fistic Glory!”

Eyeballs pop, jaws crack!

In this short film, which was made by the Newport photographer Tom Carey, and who is now King of Content at What Youth, we get to tap our toes to Jack Freestone bumping, crouching and jumping at BSR cable park.

Oh that name do ring a bell don’t it.

Just over a month ago, a New Jersey surfer died of a brain-eating amoeba after visiting the park. The Centers for Disease control and Health Department tested the facility and while not finding any Naegleria fowleri, the responsible villain, concluded that, “epidemiologic and environmental assessment indicate that exposure likely occurred at this (Waco) facility.”

In a Trumpian response, the pool’s owner loosed a press release that was headlined, BSR SURF RESORT, Lazy River & Royal Flush slide WATER TESTS COME BACK CLEAN” and “BSR Determined to Go the Extra Mile, Set Highest Standards for Safety.”

The pool is closed now, til March 2019, so let’s make a little hay with what sunshine remains.

Watch: Sheldon Simkus in “People are always telling me I’m immortal. I just might prove them right!”

You like big, clean, Indian Ocean tubes? Oh this is just right for you!

In this three-minute short, built around the Gold Coast surfer Sheldon Simkus, roughly one third of the feature is footage of the twenty one year old shooting ten-foot tubes in Indonesia.

It’s these sessions, or session, that make it worth at least a cursory viewing, perhaps while preparing breakfast or while your immediate supervisor isn’t cruising the cubicles, looking for evidence of loafing.

When he’s not working on his surfing, Sheldon stays fit, and baby-faced young, through hard work and nothing else. He doesn’t eat nut burgers or drink spinach juice and refuses to take vitamin pills. He has so much energy the neighbourhood kids ring the doorbell constantly, wanting to know “Can Sheldon come out and play?”

Hit play, see if it takes your fancy.

Watch: Craig Anderson and Taj Burrow in “Will you come loofah my stretch marks?”

Two surfers, one retired, the other a recluse, reappear in four-minute short for deck-grip sponsor…

You could say that age, and disinterest, has not wearied the retired Taj Burrow and the reclusive Craig Anderson.

Both men, one forty, the other just-turned thirty, have long waved the digitus medius at pro surfing, at the game etc and yet, here, we are reminded why we loved them so.

Taj Burrow was, and still is, an amalgam of Griffin Colapinto and Filipe Toledo while Craig Anderson is still unlike anything we’ve seen before or since – a nice-looking person in butch poses.

The action starts one-minute in (Do you like scenics and raindrops? Start at the beginning) and there’s a surfeit of slow-motion, something which eats me alive.

But I’ve never been a patient man.