Taylor Steele Told Us To Give 25 Of You VIP Access... - Stab Mag

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Last year's Solento Surf Festival at La Paloma theatre in Encinitas. Photo: Solento Tequila

Taylor Steele Told Us To Give 25 Of You VIP Access…

Surfing’s Sundance-style Film Festival starts reeling in 2 weeks.

elsewhere // Sep 6, 2023
Words by Christian Bowcutt
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Remember when the swashbuckling, rum-filled cast of Strange Rumblings in Shangri-La won “Best Film of the Year” at the 2014 Surfer Poll Awards and Noa Deane uttered his infamous onstage rebuke of surfing’s competitive arm?

I miss the Surfer Poll awards. We rarely see surfers have to dress up and speak in public anymore — gone are the days of Dane and John John in suits forced to be the nucleus of praise and attention.

“Quiksilver, thank you for sparing me during the massacre this year.”

As you know, we are in an epoch of change in the surfing world — corporate takeovers, Final Five showdowns, and mini surf movies coming out every day on Instagram.

Taylor Steele touched on this last point last year when I asked him why he started the Solento Surf Festival. “Nowadays we consume movies on phones or computers, which pull us away from those shared experiences,” he said, “This is a celebration of coming together to share films, music, and conversation.”

Much like the Sundance Film Festival was a way for Robert Redford to attract filmmakers to Utah and encourage independent movie-making, the Solento Surf Festival is our little surfing world’s “beach chic” version — a way to give a public platform to surf filmmakers beyond just a handheld phone screen.

This year’s Solento Surf Festival will take place in four different places over a period of five days. You can buy tickets at this link. Here’s what’s on the menu (including how you can score VIP access to the beer garden):

Additional deets:

September 16 Seaside Beach Takeover: 3 divisions (Men’s, Women’s, Grom’s). Heats progress each round from quads to single fins. There will also be a Lifeguards vs. Firefighters heat. Last year Kelly Slater and Rob Machado made an appearance — who knows who will rear their head in 2023.

The first 25 Stab Premium members to RSVP here will get into the VIP Beer Garden for free beer and food at the contest. Must be 21+ years old to RSVP.

Film Festival at La Paloma

Beyond the long list of exciting movies premiering (Trilogy revamp and Caity Simmers’s SEOTY entry, Bell Jar), there is also a concert each night, so your non-surfer significant other or fresh Hinge date won’t just subjected to surf flick after surf flick.

Remember, respond here and we’ll see you there.


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