In the waning hours of daylight on July 27, 2006, the sun-kissed faces of Huntington Beach patiently waited outside of the Huntington Surf Theatre in anticipation of a monumental surf film. Expectations were exceeded as VANS delivered one of the most intimate and extensive portraits of the most influential spot in surfing history with their new film “Pipeline Masters.”
The pre-show giveaways provided an extra perk for a crowd ranging in age from stumbling mini-groms, to stoked surfing grandparents. Gimmicks aside, Stacy Peralta’s (Riding Giants, Dog Town and Z Boys) rendition of The Pipeline Masters’ history stands on its own as a gift to those yearning to better understand the notorious break.
The film’s writer, Sam George (Riding Giants, former editor SURFER Magazine, renowned surf journalist), helped launch the film by sharing a few thoughts with the audience, commenting, “With just one wave and one contest there's a danger of it getting monotonous, but you look back at all the people that emerge and the story that develops…and that makes the film dramatic.”
While Pipe's machine-like barrels were consistently splattered across the big screen, the feeling of monotony couldn’t have kept a safer distance. From Phil Edwards’ pioneering first ride, to Jamie O’Brien's wildcard victory, “Pipeline Masters” elucidates the break's entire life as a rideable surf spot. The wave assumes its own persona, acquiring humanlike traits in each unique relationship endured with the legendary surfers to cross its path.
VANS’ “Pipeline Masters” depicts Banzai Pipeline with the reverence and thoughtfulness it deserves, effectively immortalizing the home of professional surfing’s most prestigious contest site. Informative and engaging, the premiere marked the release of a film that should be tacked on to the life list of mandatory intake for the surf enthusiast.