"One Water Clip Gave Me Chills From Head To Toe": A Snapt4 Film Review - Stab Mag

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“One Water Clip Gave Me Chills From Head To Toe”: A Snapt4 Film Review

Images and insights from last night’s world premiere.

elsewhere // Sep 26, 2021
Words by Michael Ciaramella
Reading Time: 3 minutes

We’ve been talking about the Snapt4 premiere for 23 years now. At least that’s what it felt like. 

Last night, the long-awaited moment was finally realized. It did not disappoint. 

Set on the northern shores of Huntington Beach, the premiere sold out days in advance and saw thousands attend the beach-side venue. A giant stack of LED monitors made up the event screen, which would eventually air the film comprising 15 elite surfers’ best clips from the past 2.5 years. Jack Robbo, Clay Marzo, Mason Ho etc. included. 

But first, a live show from the Bay Area’s own Andre Nickatina. 

Ayo for yayo
Walk around with yayo
All in my nasal
I must have been crazed yo

While not the most immaculately produced set, Andre still inebriated the crowd with his decades-strong energy and flow. A peak moment came when a front-row fan offered their toddler to the 51-year-old rapper, who accepted and proceeded to rock the child in his arms mid-song. Covid be damned, genuine human connection is back!

Following Andre’s performance, Snapt4 director Logan Dulien took the stage. “It’s been a real challenge making a global surf film in the middle of a pandemic,” Dulien said, “but you can either sit around and complain or do something about it.” 

We’ll raise a Tolago to that.

Director Logan Dulien overlooks his empire. Photo: Kalani Cummins

The film opens with Salmon Boy establishing himself at the top of surfing’s hierarchy. We’ve never seen this guy surf, but based on rumors we’d wager he’s a mix of Pancho Sullivan, Steph Gilmore, and Chippa Wilson. The Ultimate Surfer.  

The first surf section belongs to Benji Brand. Scored to Metallica’s ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’, this slab-heavy clinic sets the barometer for all subsequent parts in the film. Benji’s comfort in oversized tubes never ceases to amaze me, not the least of which because he always appears on the verge of falling over his front foot, but somehow never does. His end section in Costa Rica holds a special place in my heart, having witnessed those sessions in person in early 2020. 

The next few sections are a bit on the slower side, but the film ramps back up around the halfway point. Parker Coffin mixes power with elegance, Seth and Josh Moniz go balls to the wall, and Clay Marzo does what I can only describe as a full-rotation layback. Jack Robinson’s long-awaited section has been permanently seared into my eyes. There’s a water clip in there that gave me chills from head to toe. 

The end section goes to none other than Mason Ho, whose broad assortment of waves, surfboards, and maneuvers paints him as the most versatile surfer on the planet. The only thing Mason can’t do on foam and water appears to be riding a longboard, as seen in our recent EAST series. Apparently the guy can only cross-step on massive Backdoor floaters. You know the one. 

Fun was had. Photo: @kalanicphotos

You might remember that the “best” Snapt4 section — as decided by Mick Fanning, Taj Burrow, and Bobby Martinez — will win $50k. This decision will be made in November as the film continues to premiere across the world and the judges have time to digest all 15 sections. But if you wanted our take on who might win, I’ll say this: 

Jack’s section is the most refined. Mason’s section is the most unique. Clay’s section made me gasp the hardest. But goddamn, I can’t stop thinking about Benji’s tubes. 

As if the film needed any more bells and whistles, the whole soundtrack fucking slaps

The next Snapt4 premieres are in Jacó, Costa Rica, next weekend and New Jersey on October 16. See @snapt4 on IG for full details. 


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