Stab Magazine | John Florence's View From A Blue Moon Is The Best Surf Film Ever Made

John Florence’s View From A Blue Moon Is The Best Surf Film Ever Made

“This is my view of the world.” – John John Florence

news // May 9, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Dimmed lights, a message from John urging Sydney premiere attendees to enjoy themselves, and a dedication to filmmaker Sonny Miller, and we were finally into the best surf film ever made. At least, depending on what you value. If the best aerial surfing and tuberiding ever done are your kinks, or if “surf movie shot on Pandora and directed by David Attenborough” is something that tickles, then yes, this is the best surf film ever made. Hyperbole is a fun internet game but, for real, View From A Blue Moon is, at this point in time, incomparable.

There are shades of The Endless Summer as John C. Rielly sprinkles his (mercifully) sparingly-used narration. Jack Johnson’s bespoke Seasick Dream taps over the top of amazing water cinematography featuring very mini-John, slowly graduating from shorebreak to set waves and…

We’re re-born into a North Shore we’ve never seen before: The Florence family’s North Shore. The place with some of the scariest waves in the world and some of the heaviest locals and the bike path you should avoid after dark and the “everyone’s welcome but don’t forget to leave” North Shore is nowhere to be seen here. It just feels like home, but the most enjoyable childhood home ever.


Like the first walk down a street in a new, foreign city, each geo-based section hits aurally and visually with no apology. Continuing the genius of making familiar scenes feel new, we’re treated to a different side of Tahiti – though, obviously no one could resist ending the section with brother Nathan’s unfathomable paddle-drop-wrangle at crowning jewel, Teahupoo. The DFA remix of David Bowie does a fabulous job of easing the epicness that could easily have weighed too heavily on this film.

In West Oz, John, Albee Layer and Matt Meola redefine aerial awareness: If you haven’t spotted your landing three feet out, you’re doing it wrong. Along The Transkei, a new must-surf location is born (and hello, slide guitar!). And then, Brazil.

Oh, Brazil! The only unfortunate part here is the lack of really quality waves Filipe Toledo and John scored, but them’s the breaks in surfing and the intro at least is of the most engaging filmmaking style imaginable. “Every emotion unleashed in a single moment.” Yeah, Brazil really grips.


Then we’re back to the dark continent co-starring Jordy Smith and more, with perfect contrast via Jacques Dutronc, before returning to the North Shore. But, this is not the North Shore we saw in the film’s opener. This is not a family North Shore; This is a thrilling North Shore. Fast and Loose – just like the Motörhead jam the section is cut to. John in his zone is just… the true edge of surfing right now.

It’s hard to shake the sense, watching this film, that the ocean is a playground designed specifically for John Florence. Each element, from the Nat Geo cinematography to the groundbreaking surfing to the Bruce Irons section that appears after the credits like a Marvel film, makes it feel like when it comes to View From A Blue Moon, everything is in its right place. Fifteen fucking stars.



Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Honest Review(s): O’Neill Hyperfreak Fire

Pushing the Limits of Wetsuit Tech for Men & Women

Oct 3, 2022

How Much Would You Pay For A Session Like This?

A cost-per-vision breakdown of Kian Martin and Tai Buddha's latest strike mission.

Oct 2, 2022

Ongoing Dialogue: Jack Freestone And Album’s Matt Parker On How They Get Sparks To Fly

"Nowadays, a standard thruster feels pretty alt to me." -Jack

Oct 2, 2022

Davo’s Death Strikes At Surfing’s Core

The underground icon battled demons til the end. His untimely demise is yet another cautionary…

Oct 1, 2022

Macaroni in the Pot

Jaleesa Vincent and 200 Lefts in the Mentawais

Oct 1, 2022

Introducing A Brand New Travel Series (With A Familiar Name)

Watch the first New York episode of Stab & Red Bull's No Contest Off Tour.

Sep 30, 2022

Leandro Dora: Pro Surfer, Businessman, Punk Rock Festival Organizer, Spiritual Mentor, And World Title Winning Surf Coach 

Meet one of the most beloved and effective individuals in the athlete's zone.

Sep 29, 2022


You’re Gonna Click On A New Oscar Langburne Video

Style that can't be denied.

Sep 29, 2022

Long Read: An Angel At My Table

From Stab Issue 15, October 2006: Chris Davidson has one more shot at the big…

Sep 28, 2022


Watch: Kalani David’s Last Dance

A final surf part from the Hawaiian surf/skate prodigy.

Sep 28, 2022

Taylor Steele Won’t Let Surf Filmmaking Die Without a Fight

Movies shown, filmmaking advice, punk rock at the 2022 Solento Surf Festival.

Sep 28, 2022

Wait, Are We Going To See Moana Jones In The Olympics At Teahupo’o?

Team USA (women) and Japan (men) should be able to choose anyone they want to…

Sep 27, 2022

Donald Brink and Matt Biolos Win Mick Fanning’s Electric Acid Surfboard Test

And we had a party in Oceanside to celebrate.

Sep 26, 2022

Kanoa Igarashi and Kirra Pinkerton Answer Call Of Duty, Win Medals Of Honor In 2022 ISA World Games

Teams Japan, USA, and France move into Victor’s Village.

Sep 26, 2022

The Best Euro Surf Trips That Mightn’t Be On Your Radar

Want to know which less-trodden nation offers the most potential?

Sep 26, 2022

Former CT Surfer Chris Davidson Passes Away At Age 45

A radical life tragically ends outside a bar in New South Wales.

Sep 25, 2022

Where You Should Be In Europe Right Now

An overview of the region's greatest hits.

Sep 25, 2022

The Team Ukraine Interview

“There are mines near the shore, and already a lot of people have died…so it’s…

Sep 24, 2022