For over a decade now Rip Curl's Search has been sending their best surfers to the best waves on the planet. It's not a coincidence then that, with some of the best surf-movie makers tagging along, the Search has produced some veritable surf classics: Tripping the Planet, Searching for Tom Curren, Feral Kingdom, Fanning the Fire—the list goes on. But of all surf movies they've released over the years, none will be as global and expansive of a project as Somewhere…, set to premiere May 29th at the Lido Theatre, Newport Beach.
Combining 11 talented editors, including former Surfer Poll winner Matt Gye, with 10 epic locations, including an unmanned, ledging right in the Atomic Atolls, with the likes of Mick Fanning, Taylor Knox, and Pancho Sullivan—the result is one hell of a surf movie. Somewhere… is set to become the culmination of the Search's years of benevolent surf-imperialism—the endless quest for untouched perfect waves on a global scale, all thrown together in one ultimate surf flick.
Rip Curl is doing something never seen before in surf movies: giving the creative control of one surf movie to 11 stylistically unique editors, or in Rip Curl's words, "many hands making the Search." With such variance in style, the essence of the Search is redefined in each section in a way that presents what "searching" means for different people in different places.
Adam Blakey cut the Angry section – called as such because it features Australian rock legend Angry Anderson, travelling Indonesia by boat alongside Tom Curren and just about every other Rip Curl team rider. This section exemplifies the benefits of using a number of different perspectives in making a surf movie. As Blakey put it, the presence of a bloke as gnarly as Angry allowed him to make a section that has less to do with art than with getting amped. Says Blakey, "This [is a section] that will make you want to get out there and go for it."
Matt Beauchesne's section, on the other hand, showcases the more traditional ethos of the Search, with Rip Curl's A-team scouring the Atomic Atolls for a month, searching for a single, nameless wave they found out about through word-of-mouth. Beauchesne describes the product as "a nuts, nuts barrel," a wave you don't know is surfable until somebody takes the first vertical drop, pulls into the gaping pit, and comes flying out with the spit.
In the North Shore section, Matt Gye got aloha-ambassador Pancho Sullivan to provide voice over insight, giving this North Shore section charisma and some real authenticity, unlike the dime-a-dozen Pipeline-Rocky Point montages you see in just about every other surf movie. Featuring a combination of 16mm and digital, this section expresses the varying moods evoked by each of these film formats—new-school-up-beat and old-school-mellow—in a way that mirrors the fast-paced surf mecca met with soothing paradise that is the North Shore.
Truly eclectic, Somewhere…might prove to be the first in a new wave of surf movie making, yet it doesn't abandon the "the true spirit of adventure" that's come to define the Search.