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For better or for worse, my life revolves around surfing. I often show up for work at Las Olas HQ fifteen minutes late and slightly wet. I’m more concerned about running out of surf wax than I am about running out of shampoo. The point being, I’m probably the most ‘core’ surfer in our company. Therefore, the surf movie I’m about to recommend will be somewhat of a surprise. It is not the latest high-budget release from a mega surf brand; it features no current pros nor any ‘progressive’ surfing. Jack Johnson did not provide the soundtrack. It was released in 1999.
But Surfing For Life is a most amazing surf documentary, a real look into the long and inspirational lives of some very real surfers. In SFL, we meet and get wet with Woody Brown, Doc Ball, Rabbit Kekai, Eve Fletcher and a cadre of other ‘senior surfers’. Some are well known characters, who played critical roles in surfing’s history; others are everyday surfers, working as educators, animators or physicians. All are inspirational in that they were—or still are—surfing well into their sixties, seventies, and even eighties.
We get glimpses into their very active lives, hear their secrets to longevity, and share their stoke for surfing and the ocean lifestyle. We laugh while Woody clowns around, we are inspired by the grace and style of Eve Fletcher and Anona Napoleon, and we hold our breath in terror when 80 something John ‘Doc’ Ball charges downhill on a skateboard! And we learn that being elderly does not have to be the slow decline into a sedentary life that our culture sometimes suggests it should be. These lifelong surfers teach us that age really doesn’t matter.
Want to share the stoke? Beautifully filmed, with rare archival surfing footage, and narrated by Beau Bridges, Surfing For Life might be the perfect gift for the surfer, wannabe surfer, or young person in your life. And it might be the perfect gift to YOURSELF.
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