I have been watching a lot of surf movies recently. I totaled up the hours for last week and I think it came out to about 16 – yeah I know, pathetic. Surf movies are like porn: a poor substitute for the real thing, but when you can’t get any, it’s about as good as it gets.
So the best surf movie of the week was this totally random Japanese one my buddy found that seems to be about this group of friends who travel the world surfing together and hitting on Japanese chicks, but we’re not really sure where they go or what’s going on because it’s all in Japanese. It seems like a home movie, but it has some sick waves and the surfing is good. It’s not pro level, though, and it makes me feel good about my surfing because I can do the stuff on the screen.
Thursday’s video was completely the opposite, all professional contest footage; you know the kind – Kelly, Machado and Andy. Yeah, like I haven’t seen these guys in a surf movie lately. The movie was called “Change the Subject,” which really didn’t make sense because a video of those guys is not a change at all; those guys are the subjects of most surf movies. I am kind of sick of these videos featuring guys surfing at a whole different level than me. I see the shit they do and I can’t even begin to imagine how to do it, and as a result I start thinking my surfing sucks. But it was the movie’s premiere and there was an after-party featuring free vodka Red Bull, so I drank ’til I felt good about my surfing and then lied to people, saying I was in the film.
The third movie of the week was “Blue Horizon,” Jack McCoy’s new film, and it was awesome. Stunning cinematography, killer footage, but best of all, it had an interesting story to tell. “Blue Horizon” contrasts current world champ Andy Irons with David “Rasta” Rastovich, a seemingly perma-stoned soul surfer. Irons comes across like a cutthroat, competitive, money-grubbing asshole, while Rasta looks like a chill dude you’d want to travel with while “following the energy’s path.”
The two protagonists of “Blue Horizon” reminded me of two personalities on UCSB’s own women’s surf team: Bianca Valentine and Katie Jackson. Bianca is the second-ranked female in the state and is our team’s Andy Irons. Katie, the resident Rasta, just transferred here from the Big Island of Hawaii and, before last Sunday, hadn’t competed in three years. Instead she has been “living the surfing lifestyle, sailing a lot and traveling,” going to such mouth-watering locales as Tahiti and the Philippines. When asked how she got so good she said, “Guys always said that girls couldn’t surf, so I wanted to show them.” This girl has surfed Teahupoo; I think she has showed us all she has got balls.
The two shortboarders squared off last weekend in the NSSA Huntington event 1 and 2. Katie Jackson took second on Sunday with “two decent lefts that connected all the way.” Bianca chose not to wear a wetsuit for the last three heats and placed fifth. According to her, “The judges gave me extra points ’cause they could see my ass.” Also on Sunday, Bradley Margol took second in the men’s shortboard competition. This was an awesome first performance by this talented Floridian freshman. With four – six if he follows the path forged by the surf team – years left at UCSB I am sure we will see a repeat. UCSB also placed two finalists on Saturday, who were, as of press time, in typical surfer fashion, not returning phone calls. They were Charlie McMahon (sixth) and Joe Alani (fifth). Brendan Castille took fifth among the men’s longboarders on Sunday with a long nose ride in the final heat. This is Brendan’s third year on the surf team and he attributes his good finish to the energy provided by Protein Plus cookies and cream Power Bars (his sponsors), which, according to Brendan, stop tasting like cardboard after about a week.