In 2011, surf films experienced a paradigm shift. Not only did the DVD essentially disappear this past year, but it left behind a blank slate for filmmakers and storytellers to experiment with the medium of video without having to worry how it would eventually do at the checkout counter. No longer trying to keep great surf footage under wraps until the DVD hit shelves, surf filmmakers rushed to get amazing discoveries, sessions, and moments onto the Web. That explains the huge number of excellent shorts that went viral this past year. Lists can be truly arbitrary, and this one certainly fits that description. Below are five staff favorites from 2011, but feel free to post comments with links to your favorites, too.
5. Uncommon Ideals
Chris McClean and Mark Waters' highly stylized look at surfing in the North Sea set to a poem of the same name by Daniel Crockett, and featuring the surfing of Gabe Davies, Pete Eyre, John John Florence, Nathan Florence, Dylan Graves, Chris Griffiths, Ritchie Sills, and Balaram Stack.
4. Seven Ghosts: Tidal Fantasy
Rip Curl's "The Search" program sends Bruno Santos, Dean Brady, Tyler Larronde, Oney Anwar, and former World Champ Tom Curren to surf an Indonesian tidal bore. What they find when they get there is amazing.
3. Andy’s Swell
Footage from the first big west swell at Pipeline during the winter of 2010-11. The lineup was far less crowded as the swell rose, because most of the Pipeline standouts were over on Kauai for Andy Irons' farewell paddle out. The incredible surfing that went down that day and the next were dedicated to AI, and it's now referred simply as "Andy's Swell."
Goofy-footer surf porn at its best starring Marc Lacomare, Alain Riou, and Aritz Aranburu. Mind-bending double-overhead left-hand barrels. Enough said.
1. Lost Interest
Twelve minutes of Dane Reynolds' ripping in Mainland Mexico as only he can. Lost Interest (a play on the title of Kai Neville's second big release Lost Atlas) is arguably one of the best performances of a generation. Hands down the SURFER editorial staff's favorite short of 2011. Note: The above image will take you to MarineLayerProductions.com. Scroll down halfway to watch.
Download and watch most of the major full-length surf films from 2011 on our Free Surf Flicks page.