I just saw Trilogy for the first time, just now. I didn’t buy the DVD or borrow it or burn it from a friend or even try to Netflix it (they don’t carry Trilogy anyway, although they do have Sipping Jetstreams and Fair Bits, which I also haven’t seen.) It was on Fuel TV actually, and I sat through it ONLY because I was held captive by a stationary cycling workout at the time (grow quads grow). Twenty may seem a little young for this, but I stopped watching surf videos a couple of years ago when I accepted that I was just too good a surfer to ever turn pro. Just too good at surfing. Videos were always more like textbooks anyway (check Joel’s hand placement! Look at Kelly’s hip rotation there!), and why study if you don’t plan to graduate? I didn’t catch Free as a Dog, Young Guns 3, Just Add Water, Dudecruise – stopped watching after Campaign 2, actually (who were all those new guys?).
Trilogy was great, and I think it made me pedal faster, but more compelling was the film’s method of delivery: Fuel TV, which is joined these days by webcasts and microsites, YouTube channels and viral trailers, Facebook premieres and blog-based webisodes. Who buys a DVD anymore? The same people who want music CDs, standing outside where their local Tower Records used to be and wondering what gives. I guess. I don’t know any such people.
Surf videos, along with every other type of media, are undergoing a fundamental redefinition centered around new modes of distribution. How will we take our Poor Specimen installments in five years? Via mobile phone download, on demand and in the beach parking lot? Will we get a live stream of keepers in real time, as they’re shot, halfway round the globe? Will there simply be a channel for every surfer, and at dusk we’ll be able to tune in for all of Andy’s waves that day? (Actually, Dion Agius is practically there already.) Perhaps Google Earth will get so good that we’ll be able to just, you know, follow guys around. Think about how you would do it if you could. Some young entrepreneur will Taylor Steele us square in the face one of these days and start the next big thing. Then we’ll all laugh about this awkward period in between technologies when we hadn’t quite abandoned DVD yet, but were still wondering what would replace it. Hmmm. Ready go