Archive for October 14th, 2009

NYC Show’s Surfer’s Love

The summer for most people is highly anticipated here on the east coast, with brutal winters and mediocre spring and fall weather, summer comes as big relief. But for the surfing community nothing could be further from the truth. Flat spells that can last for weeks and to make matters even worse, every weekend warrior is out crowding up the line up on those seldom day of waves. September on the other hand, provides a shinning light at the end of the tunnel. Our hurricane season is in full effect, sending pumping surf and chocolate barrels our way.  Taking into considering the world-class waves we do get when swell comes our way, due to our inconsistency, the east coast surf culture rarely gets the recognition we deserve. Just keep in mind that the 9x world champ, Kelly Slater is from Florida so how’s that for homegrown talent. Something happened two years ago that has set the wheels in motion and began changing the philosophy of east coast surf culture. For the most part it’s all due to the one event that takes place the last weekend in September. This event, which has been aptly titled, “the Sundance of surf film festival,” is the New York Surf Film Festival, held at the renowned Tribeca Cinemas. What initially strikes me about this film festival is the title it self, somewhat of an oxy-moron within surf ideology. A surf film festival in New York City does not really fit the typical picture that one images when thinking about a surf scene. On the contrary, the surf scene here is as dedicated and thriving as anywhere else. The only difference is instead of palm trees we have skyscrapers. It is exactly this visual contradiction that makes the New York Surf Film Festival so special. During the festivals christening year, films were sought after, but a lot has changed from one year to the next at the NYSFF. Now filmmaker’s worldwide are submitting by the hundreds. The common thread at New York Surf Film Festival is, all the filmmakers’s are independent artist’s portraying their personal perspective of surfing and surf culture. The surf industry at large has unfortunately overlooked the potential here in NYC, which in turn motivated the local surf culture to start there own movement.  The attitude is nothing but love; there is a real sense of comrodery. Everyone involved supports one another, kind of like a neighborhood gang, all having each other’s back. This year was especially significant. By generating so much buzz from the success of the first year, the big dogs in the industry came out in masses. True to the essence of the film festival’s philosophy, the focus remained on the filmmaker’s; who were the real celebrates anyway.  I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to document the festival’s events and put a little wrap up video together so everyone can see for themselves how truly inspiring the New York Surf Film Festival is.