last week I walked into the shop when Dave sees me and his eyes
light up. He reaches over and hands me the new DVD "FLOW"
and says "You have to watch this. Could be the movie of the year."
I gave him a skeptical look. "I mean Nationally, not locally".
(As if my movies were on the same level as the Big guys.) I laughed. I
love Surf movies, so I grabbed it. I had heard about this flick and thought
I'd watch it later with Mackey. The movie is about Al Merrick.
And it features, three of whom, I feel are the most influential shortboarders
in the history of surfing. Shaun Tomson, Tom Curren and Kelly Slater.
It also has the early Aerials of young Davey Smith in the early
80's. To say that Al Merrick is one of the industry's biggest
Giants, is an understatement. His influence on Tommy Curren and
Kelly Slater alone is HUGE. A major player Al Merrick was
and is today.
Shaun Tomson, in the mid 70's, to the late 80's was
the man. Shaun The Prawn was the ultimate Tube Rider. When
the movie FREE RIDE came out, and we all watched Dan Merkel's
footage of Shaun's Backdoor and Off The Wall barrel
riding go by us, in ultra slow motion, well, we freaked out. His wide
stance, and his finely tuned, turning in the barrel, set the surf world
up on it's ear. All of us here in New England quickly adapted the
wide stance, and began pulling into every wide open hole we could fit
our bundled wetsuited New England bodies into. From Kevin to
J-Rat, we pulled into every wave that even remotely looked like it
was going to throw. We were all Shaun Tomson's that first year.
Kevin Grondin honed his barrel riding style after Shaun.
When Tom Curran started showing up in the mags and early movies,
we knew that Surfing again, had taken a turn for the better. Suddenly,
there was more than just Barrel riding to pay attention to. Curran's
surfing took surfing to the HNL..."HOLE NUTHA LEVEL".
The early 90's was wild. And Surfing would never be the same. I
had the pleasure of meeting Curran in 1994, and actually
got to jam with him at a party. He played drums and guitar, and I played
guitar on several songs. *Some of that footage is in my movie 99
to 90. He was a very humble human being. He was also very talented.
I never got to surf with him. Not that I would of. I would of grabbed
my camera and shot every single second of his session. But, it was not
to be. We met again a couple of years later, when he flew in to Boston
to catch a Hurricane swell. He ended up heading south, instead of North,
and he missed a classic Northern New England swell. This was back
in the day when New England was still off the radar. Tommy
we missed ya.
The next Surfer in FLOW is Kelly Slater. Now, I can't say
anything about Kelly that has not already been said a million times
before. I won't even try. If you don't know who Kelly Slater is,
and what he's done for Surfing, quit surfing right now and take
up golf. You are too much of a kook to save. Every surfer in the
last 15 years has been influenced by Kelly in one way or
another. Kelly is THE MAN. There will never be another Kelly
Slater. I will say however, that there's a softer side to Kelly
in this movie that I was not aware of. A very emotional side. I guess,
he's human after all.
all you young aerialists out there, should get this movie to see who the
real innovator of popping airs is. It's Davey Smith.
Smith was popping out of waves since 1983 and making them.
I can remember seeing photos in the magazine, of this bushy headed freak,
flying out of waves and thinking to myself..."No way he made that".
But, he was making them. This is in 1983. It's good to see this
guy get his due credit. Davey Smith should earn his place in the
Surfing Hall of Fame.
The movie tells the whole Santa Barbara story and it's all based
on AL MERRICK. Al is a tremendous human being, who did more
than make surfboards for the best surfers in the world. He became like
a father to these young surfers. And it's apparent by hearing these surfers
talk about him. I won't say anything else except, this movie is important.
I mean that. It tells a true story about contemporary shortboarding, and
it's done very well. Complete with my old friend, Sam George who
knows more about surfing than anyone on this planet.
Get "FLOW" and watch a movie of significance.
22 years in the making. The Annual Cinnamon Rainbows
Midnite Madness happened last night, and if you were there, you
know what kind of an event it is. This Madness event has taken
on a life of it's own. And it's hard to believe, it's 22 years
since the first one. Surely there have been other sales, at other shops,
and all of them have been successful in their own right. But this thing
at Cinnamon Rainbows, is like a Rock Concert or something. I'm
always amazed at the amount of people who come to this thing. It is
truly one of the highlights of the Summer. And it's 22 years
old! Wow I feel old again.
The new ticket system that was implemented a few years ago seems to
work fine. Gone are the days of near trampling of trying to rush into
the doors. This new system works fine, and everyone seems to get what
they want, without the suffocating crowds. It is like a well oiled machine.
From "Heather's Girls", to the many Groms, working
under Dave and Phil. It is an experience.
The Quiksilver Boys are outside cooking FREE Hamburgers
and having raffles every 5 minutes. So, there's no let up in
the action. The door men, Mark Jowett and Brock Dunn kept
the crowds under control in between shopping segments. It was and always
has been MADNESS. And it only happens once a year.
Speaking of well oiled machines...how about them dam Patriots!
Now, I know it's preseason and all, but dam. Those boys look good. Just
in time too. The Red Sox are fading and the air is getting cooler.
Sounds and smells like Football season to me. I mean last week, it was
30-3 against the Cards and this week, it was 41-0
against the Washington Red Skins...YIKES!
If I was Deion Branch, I'd be bitch slapping my agent and telling
him to get me a deal with this team NOW! The guy's turning down $18million?
Are you kidding me Deion? You're playing Football here. Hello???
These guys are winning HUGE without you right now. Look, I'm no Sports
Agent, but, if I was, I'd of signed you up by half-time last night.
$18 Million Dollars! What's wrong with Sports today? Ha. Money.
Last night during the Madness sale, I ran into several Groms who I had
interviewed in my movie SUMMER 05. They all wanted to retract
what they had said. You know, they were trying to downplay how good
SUMMER 05 was
while I was interviewing them at the time. Now that they have experienced
this weak Summer...all of a sudden, SUMMER 05 looks pretty dam
But not to worry my little Grommy friends...the season is just getting
started. You're ALL going Back to school, and the Tropics are acting
up. ERNESTO Come On Up! The tourists are headed home. The Lifeguards
will soon be gone. It's all coming together, my little wet eared friends.
So...Here's to a strong and well groomed Fall. I mean it has to get
My friend Doug and his wife headed back to California.
But not before actually getting to sample a little knee high to waist
high surf. They eventually worked their way up to Maine and saw
some of New England's pristine coastline. They were impressed.
I'm glad you and Robin had fun Doug. Hopefully the next
time will be a little longer. And the surf will be bigger.
Speaking of end of Summer events. This year will mark the 15th Anniversary
of an annual Beach party called Surf Family Robinson. It's a
party started back in 1992 by a bunch of local surfers who have
kids, and who wanted to spend the last weekend of the Summer together.
It's been fun for everyone. Mostly for the young surfers. Every Labor
Day Weekend since 1992. If you're interested in this event
email me directly and I'll let you know where and when.
Pic Of The Week
again for all the positive feedback on SUMMER
05 The movie's in the Shop and available at my other site
my friends...Surfing heals all wounds....
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace.
Surf For Fun.