Friday, September 30, 2011

Come Hell or High Water

Last night, joined many of the Orange County and LA County extended bodysurfing ohana at the Lido Theatre in Newport for the showing of  Keith Malloy's new film, the first surf film to focus on bodysurfing.  What a gas!

Many good water friends were there - I went with Mark Ghattas and his fiance, Mandy.  Joined by Newport and Wedge regular Rendell Swart, we first ran into Wedge denizen Rick Ciaccio (#9) with his wife, Linda, along with Newport Playgrounds regular Derrick "MuDsHaRk" Sciarra at the front of the line waiting to enter the sold-out theater.  Also, Jeff Mitchell, who appears in the Wedge scenes, Neil Frank, and many others.  Inside, another Newport stalwart, Jason Guthrie, and Mark "Scruds" Johnson along with several other Huntington Chubascos.  Out front, many core Wedge Crew, lead by Mel Thoman and Viper maestro Fred Simpson, dean of the Crew. Legendary Wedge photographer, Ron Romanosky, looked on.

The movie was a great celebration of respect for bodysurfing from one of surfing's great filmmakers, prominently featuring Mark Cunningham and Mike Stewart hitting legendary bodysurfing locales.  The photography - in water, under water and from shore - was excellent.  The audience was fully involved, hooting and hollering through the film as it migrated from Pipeline and Panic Point in Hawaii through the familiar La Jolla reef break, the Wedge and Northern California and finishing with Cunningham, Stewart and others, including correspondent Durdam Rochelle, taking on the massive slabs of Teahupoo.  It was great to see Hal Handley featured in La Jolla and the theater buzz crescendo'd with Mel, Jeff and the Wedge Crew exhibiting local form on the largest waves of the movie at the Wedge.  A memorable night to watch this with so many, so intimately involved, sitting in the audience.

Keith Malloy and Mark Cunningham were there to hang out & answer questions afterwards, paying lots of respect to the locals, heading out afterwards to local hangout, Malarky's.  I got a chance to chat briefly with Malloy, thanking him for the respect and cred offered in the movie.

A fun and memorable night.  Can't wait for the DVD.

[Click on the poster above to go to the Woodshed Films website.]

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