Surf Webisodes Review

"Who is JOB?"; "Surf House"; "Alana Blanchard: Surfer Girl"; "Shred Show"

The relentless maw of the internet has gushed forth many surfy webisodes. Here are four of the newest:

“Who is J.O.B.?” (Red Bull TV)

JOB. Selling more WaveStorms than Costco. Holy shit, is his life really like this? JOB seems to live in an R-rated PacSun ad. Surf, thong-bottomed teenage girls, color-happy trunks, beers, and Red Bull. If you want to hate your own life, by all means dive into this whirling pot of flesh and parties and giant barrels and guys sniffing lines of black pepper for cash. The show is a better-looking, professionally-edited version of the …Lost video series of the '90s. But brighter. If I lived in Finland, I would just assume all surfers existed in the Who is JOB? world. A show this loaded with faux-reality beach life imagery seems ripe for a sociologist’s analysis. But what the hell do I know. I live in San Francisco. I’m lucky if I can take my shirt off at the beach five times a year. It's a celebration of somebody's idea of 21st century beach culture, anyway; and that somebody is really jacked up on Red Bull.

Final analysis: Strangely captivating
Surfing action: World-class but infrequent
Typical episode length: About 8 minutes

"Surf House" (Network_A)

Do you like butts? How's your attention span? Already bored reading this? Then you’re the target market for Surf House. Four young "pro" surfers living in a house at Sunset Point doing…well, it's hard to tell what they do exactly; the show is only six minutes long. There are two model/surfer girls--Alisha Gonsalves and Bree Kleintop--and two young rippers--Mitch Crews and Michael Dunphy--and mostly they serve to remind you that having a roommate sucks. Will Bree learn to wash her own dishes? Will Alisha and Mitch hook up? Does Mitch, despite his last name, wear shirts that aren't v-necks or boatnecks? We'll have to wait (with abated breath) for episode two. The humble Michael Dunphy, he of Virginia Beach, Virginia, surfs a tiny bit like a combination of Alejo Muniz and a regular foot Craig Anderson, and is the most likable of the bunch.

Final analysis: If you've ever purchased a CD, you're too old for this show
Surfing action: Not the point, but there’s some I guess
Typical episode length: 6 minutes; shorter cast intro webclips

"Alana Blanchard: Surfer Girl" (Network_A)

Damn. Wish I hadn't used that butts line already. What you aren't expecting when you decide to watch Surfer Girl is introspection. But that's what you get. Lots of sublime, slow-mo meditative shots of Alana duck-diving. Alana paddling away in the lineup. Alana showering after a surf. Set to a soft, yoga-y soundtrack, and all exquisitely, moodily filmed to perfection. Warhol himself would approve of the ways in which the mundane in Alana's life is elevated to high art in Surfer Girl, and it’s all thanks to that dreamy cinematography. Never before has somebody's simple sip of coffee been so damn compelling. When Alana walks out her front yard gate to go for a surf, it's like the Platonic ideal of somebody walking to the beach. Things I learned while watching this show: Alana rips; Alana likes Channel Islands boards; I don't smile enough while surfing; Alana's friends, most of whom are also pro surfers, are in awe of her; being a pro surfer girl is just surfing, exercising, and wearing microdresses. I liked this more than I should have.

Final analysis: You'll like it more than you'd think
Surfing action: Pretty good, lots of Alana, Hawaiian pros
Typical episode length: 5 minutes

"Shred Show" (Youtube)

This is a weird, weird show, that's absolutely worth watching, and I'm surprised there aren't more things like this on the surf-world internets. Shred Show is just a dude (Chris Grow) in a black room, in front of a fish-eyed camera, going nuts over new models of surfboards. That's it. One board per show. Armed with only a yardstick, he excitedly points out concaves, nose and tail rocker, rail templates, foil, fin set ups, and anything else that may help you make sense of board design, or that will further muddy your vague notions of how surfboards work. Either way, it's fascinating. I have no idea if Grow has any idea what he's talking about. Don't even know if he actually surfs. But Shred Show makes me want to buy surfboards, even more than I already do, which will not make my wife happy one bit. Side note: Maybe the most important thing to be said about Shred Show is that it really drives home the point that surfboard models have completely taken over the shaping industry. Remember when you had to actually describe templates when ordering custom boards? No? Then I bet you'd just loooove Surf House.

Final analysis: Geeky, slightly creepy, and great
Surfing action: Nope
Typical episode length: Five minutes