History Of Surf Movies: The Rise + Fall | “It was drowned by surf media. We videoed ourselves to death.”
Surf historian Matt Warshaw’s latest most fabulous History Of Surfing is covering the Malibu Swing of the 50’s and 60’s and this one in particular dives into Bud Browne and the early filmmaking of surfing.
Early Malibu! What a time to be alive. Surf films were like home videos and Kai Neville’s Modern Collective hadn’t even made super heroes out of surfers yet.
But what is just as fascinating as Bud Browne is Matt Warshaw talking about what the early days must have been like and how the surf film culture was dead long before the Internet nailed the coffin shut.
Here’s a sample:
What were the biggest reckonings to the surf film brought on by the internet?
The surf movie died way before the internet. It was drowned by surf media. We videoed ourselves to death. In the ‘60s and early ‘70s, SURFER came out every other month, and there was no surfing on TV, no surf DVDs, no VCRs, and no web, of course. You always had this hunger for surf media of any kind. Endless Summer would play on some late night rinky-dink local TV channel, and who cares that it was old and nothing but longboarding, you had to stay up and watch it. Once the mags were coming out one after the other, and you could rent surf movies at the video store and watch till the tape broke, and there were surf shows on cable—that was it. The surf movie didn’t really have purpose. It was optional. We stopped going to surf movies around the same time we stopped going to porn houses.
Click over to SURFER MAGAZINE for more on Matt Warshaw talking about Bud Browne, the magic spell of surf films, and the effects of the internet on the genre.