Saturday, December 17, 2011

Martin Potter, Wave Warriors III

Herbie Flether is the godfather, the Vito Corleone of modern surf films. Taylor Steele is Michael (trying to keep with the mafia sub-plot of Steele's mid-career hit The Show here). Steele gets most of the credit for post-modernizing surf films with his highly individualized, punked-out New School brand, but Fletcher was the first to deconstruct the old model of long-winded, spot-oriented (Padang Padang--so good they had to name it twice) documentaries with goofy voice-overs. Like Steele, Fletcher had a deep talent pool at his very fingers, son Christian and his friends Archie, Dino, and Justin Roberson. Without the aerials of Archie and Christian, without the progressive power surfing of Potter and Curren, the Poor Specimen generation could not exist. Wave Warriors III & IV, featured big airs and big tail-releasing turns. Slater, Dorian, Williams, and Machado took it from there. Steele packaged it for them.

One of my favorite sections of the Wave Warriors series was Potter's WWIII part. Fletcher's technique was to make everything "rad" as this was the motif of all things '80's. You can hear it in the voice-over and see it via Pottz' webbed gloves and the Oakley blades he's sporting. But check out the surfing! It still stands up today as absolute ripping! I am semi ashamed to admit that after watching this clip for the first time at fifteen, I had my dad drive me to Cal Surf so I could buy a pair of webbed gloves. While pumping down the line frontside with my Webbz, I'd even have the same shitty song in my head, imagining I was ripping as radly as Pottz.

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