Say Hello To The Surf Movies, Magazines and Ocean Of Tomorrow
Did you know SW Editor At Large Sean Doherty can summon the all-seeing powers of a magic 8 ball by simply rubbing his own dome counter-clockwise? It’s true! Just check out these morsels from beyond tomorrow… SW 395. Continued from Part 3.
Over summer I’ve had a hoot watching on as Jack McCoy has travelled around the country showing some of his old films, the last of the picture showmen still out there on the road in the digital age. Jack’s one concession to the modern day is an Instagram post the day before each screening telling a story about the making of each film. Most people won’t get beyond the first few lines of Jack’s stories, they’re a deep scroll, but they should give Jack a minute. Of course, the reality of today is that people get hundreds, thousands of surf movies sent to them daily all, for nothing. Moving ahead, this appetite for footage will only increase – nominally good news for the filmmaker – only that people are being conditioned to want it now, and for free. Maybe the road will fork at this point, with sponsored, light footprint streaming content from, let’s say, the channel at Mavs going down one road, while down the other long form, distilled, narrative-driven productions will find audiences willing to put their hand in their pocket.
At this juncture I could tell you that the current decline in print is merely a blip and doesn’t nearly represent anything terminal. But that would be a lie. Surf magazines will die. They’ll go the way of the dodo and the short-faced kangaroo. They’ll share the fates of Waves and Surfing magazines. The last editor of the last magazine will walk out of the office after the last deadline, having written a mournful obituary for surf magazines as his final editorial. He’ll switch out the light and that will be it. Or will it? On New Years Eve I dropped by a mate’s house whose toilet walls are plastered with the pages of classic Surfing World issues from 30, 40 years ago. I got lost reading an old interviews with Thornton Fallander, then it was Derek Hynd’s Hawaiian report from 1981 and before I knew it I’d been in there three-quarters of an hour. Repurposed as dunny wallpaper these magazines could kick start a new cottage industry more than capable of re-employing all the editorial staff laid off when the magazines all closed.
Judging the long-term future of the ocean’s health from our distant, privileged shore might be a little deceiving. We don’t know how good we got it, as anyone who has surfed Canggu in the wet season and had a nappy wrap around their face will attest. Anyone who has travelled anywhere for that matter knows how good we got it. The only problem is that floating plastic isn’t a big respecter of marine jurisdictions and economic exclusion zones. That shit just floats wherever it wants. Down in the far corner of Tassie, in the wildest corner of Australia with the nearest human being a hundred miles away, the convergence of three currents washes tons of plastic shit ashore, everything from noodle wrappers to store mannequins. Yeah, we’ve got it lucky here… until one day an island of plastic the size of Bali drifts into place off Sydney and just sits there.
JUST GOING SURFING
I was recently driving a stretch of coast I’d road tripped and surfed a lot during my late teens. They say the music you listen to at 19 becomes the soundtrack to your life, and it’s hard to argue the same concept doesn’t apply to your surfing. Driving down the dirt tracks, time just melted. I paddled out and surfed and it wasn’t now. It wasn’t then. It just was. There was something in that, I thought.