If This Looks Like Another Surf Edit and Smells Like Another Surf Edit, Why Does It Feel Better Than Just Another Surf Edit? - Stab Mag
Dylan Hord all "tangled up in blue", as the other Dylan once sang. Frame: Matt Tromberg

If This Looks Like Another Surf Edit and Smells Like Another Surf Edit, Why Does It Feel Better Than Just Another Surf Edit?

Let’s talk about what tasteful music, artful zooms, and honest surfing can do for you.

elsewhere // Jul 24, 2023
Words by Christian Bowcutt
Reading Time: 2 minutes

“…He had fallen on the beat and evil days that come to young guys in their middle twenties,” warns the Beatnik prophet, Kerouac.

Newport Beach’s Dylan Hord is 22. He’s got time. But he is nearing those sometimes auspicious, sometimes dastardly mid-twenties, characterized by flourishes of happiness and doldrums of disappointment.

This edit ends with Dylan at the premiere of Stab Highway California at the venerable Larry’s Beach Shack in Oceanside. He’s singing “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash and he’s not bad. Dylan’s in a band, after all.

When I was a young kid competing badly at NSSA contests, Dylan Hord wasn’t a name I wanted to see in my heat. I remember him with a solid-colored board (red, I believe) with a big, daunting Billabong sticker on the nose. He was one of those kids leaving the beach with a trophy every weekend, seemingly a shoo-in for the CT.

But things get complicated, surf industries implode, pandemics spread, and sponsorships get lost.

“I’m not getting any money from sponsors at the moment, ” Dylan told me over the phone, “It’s been tough in the surf world for sure [laughs]. Right when COVID started I got dropped. There was a lot of confusion and I was just over it. I was stuck.”

Dylan at the Stab Highway California premiere. Dylan has never, contrary to the lyrics, killed a man in Reno just to watch him die.

Naturally, I asked him how the bills were being paid and how he afforded to go on these trips and acquire clips.

“I just do odd jobs right now to pay for surfing,” Dylan explained, “My dad works in construction and luckily I’m able to tag along and pick up jobs. It’s hard to keep a stable job and travel around the world. I just work a ton, save up, blow it all on a trip, and repeat. But I’m only 22. I want to maximize these next couple years to do trips and make films before I settle down.”

These “odd jobs” are working for him. In this edit, Dylan goes up and down the coast of California and travels to New York and Nicaragua.

The surfing is excellent, but that’s not necessarily why it’s satisfying to watch. The film’s creator, Matt Tromberg, intentionally choreographs the surfing, camera work (zooms!), and music to be sort of… beautiful. In a punk, Newport 54th street-core sort of way.

Zooms are a point of contention in the skate world right now. Supreme’s William Stroebeck has been celebrated and reviled by people either loving or hating his use of extreme zoom to make clips look more artful. Personally, I like it. And Matt’s use of zoom and slow-mo alongside the music make it a very fun clip to watch.

Let’s hope Dylan keeps finding enough odd jobs to keep pumping out edits and keep traveling the world, before the doldrums of 25 kick in.


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