The Runman films of the mid to late '80s are as important to the culture of surfing as Duke Kahanamoku, Bruce Brown, and/or Pac Sun. The films came out before Taylor Steele's Momentum and Momentum II, which featured the beginnings of New School progression to mainstream punk rock (Pennywise, Offspring, NOFX). One could argue that Taylor Steele's early films were somewhat inspired by the Runman videos and that he provided the surf industry with a much more marketable brand of the Runman concept, which consisted first and foremost of lewd hijinks and old school punk and THEN surfing, or "ripping." My friends and I would watch these videos in my living room and laugh our asses off. We adopted some of the language and catch-phrases into our everyday talk. We even attempted some of the Runman stunts at home. You didn't put on a Runman video to amp yourself up before a surf. You didn't watch them to inspire your surfing abilities. You watched them to become a better "surfer." I think today's Reef-footed, Quik-donned, "rippers" should take a long hard look at the Runman films. Surfers aren't supposed to be sheep. Their supposed to be goats.
BTW, this Surfer's Journal vid about Runman kind of sucks. I would have done a WAY better job with it. There's also a part II on the site.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Monday, September 5, 2011
This Thursday I'll be heading down to NYC to cover the Quiksilver Pro for NESURF.COM. The event is being held in Long Beach and swells from Hurricane Katia are already en route. I have mixed feelings about the ASP allowing Quiksilver to throw a bunch of money (in the pro-surfing cents)at this particular contest for the sake of broadening the surf market. New York is the cultural center of the U.S. and arguably the world. Will the city's hipsters, poets, artists, stock brokers, models, athletes, sidewalk prophets, guidos, gangsters, dirt bags, junkies, drag queens, and fuckheads care to wear the new Jets NFL 22" boardshorts? I hope not. New York (Long Island) already has a surf scene and we know Quiksilver isn't hosting this event so the locals can watch pros rip their home break. The contest is intended for the other 8 million plus people who live in the city and the millions more who live around it. If something doesn't happen in New York it doesn't actually happen at all. NYC is the phenomenological standpoint of our mass media reality. Fuck L.A. Surfing on the continental U.S. grew up there (Malibu) and look at what Hollywood has done to surf image/culture. The country revolves around New York and surfing doesn't exist for New Yorkers. It doesn't exist for the Mid West either, but everything that everybody ever sees or reads somehow had its inception/conception (most likely) in New York City. The ASP and Quiksilver are hoping to get on the conceptual grid and I for the sake of traffic at my local breaks, hope the mainstream media ignores the contest as much as possible.
Starting Thursday, I'll be blogging and tweeting about the contest on a daily basis with pics and video from the event. Stay tuned or else you might relapse into ontological uncertainty.