Tired Of Shallow Surf Content? - Stab Mag

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Mat lands about 10 of these in the clip. It's astonishing.

Tired Of Shallow Surf Content?

Mateus Herdy goes deep for the culture.

cinema // Nov 1, 2022
Words by Holden Trnka
Reading Time: 3 minutes

These days, it’s hard to create something unique, especially in our creatively overcrowded surf culture. Good surfers are a dime a dozen, and it seems that good filmmakers are becoming that way too. No longer is there one filmmaker — a la Taylor Steele — or one group of surfers that influence our cultural headspace. Instead, any good surfer can pair with any good filmmaker to put out any category of glorious surf porn. 

Dane Reynolds and Hunter Martinez with Glad You Scored, Sebastian Williams and Octavio Coutiño/Alejandro Maytorena with Euforia, Kerby Brown and Rick Rifici with Facing Monsters. Just a few of the nearly infinite number of surf-films that would have potentially never existed prior to the digital age. While this inundation of quality surfing has allowed us to partake in an endless stream of vertigo-inducing visions, it has probably numbed the receptors of the average surf media consumer. No longer is a simple air reverse or Chilean sand-funnel enough to get your click. There needs to be something more, something engaging attached.

The beauty is in the details.

18:18 is Mateus Herdy and filmmaker Loïc Wirth’s attempt at just that. Instead of the usual rip-clip, they’ve pieced together a stylistic interpretation of a surfing life. Sure, there’s a bunch of good surfing, but there’s also the moments in between, filled with quiet style and hints of self-doubt. Mateus even sheds a tear on camera.

“If you go to a wave pool or something, everyone might be ripping, but you’ll forget about almost all the clips the next day,” says Mateus. “What I remember isn’t necessarily the tricks or the surfing. I remember style, like when Andy did the gun claim. Of course, surfing will always be a part of it, but the little details that show personality are what makes me want to surf. That’s what matters to me.” 

Enviable positioning.

Make no mistake, this attitude is no reflection on Mat’s ability to stack clips. The guy’s make rate is second to none, and he’s got an absurd rolodex of rotations. He just doesn’t want to put out short-term surf content. From what he’s repeatedly told us, he wants to compete, while still releasing memorable, unique free surfing films.

“When I started competing, I never thought about wanting to freesurf any less. I love competing, I’ll always be a competitor, but I want to go on trips like Stab High and surf beautiful waves,” says the Florianopolitan. “I want to go to the Ments and surf with my friends like Kelly and Andy and Mick did. I want to surf hard all year, make surf movies and enjoy everything, not just get ready for contests.”

Mateus is just sad because he only landed 10 rotations today instead of 20.

And the tear?

“It wasn’t supposed to be a sad thing, it’s supposed to be an artistic way to show something people never show in surfing. These days it’s all about positivity and social media image. Loïc thought it would be compelling to show me crying. Just something different.”

Click above for some artistic expression paired with very technical surfing. Filmed in France, Brazil, and the Maldives, 18:18 is a beautiful contemplation on the youth of a traveling surfer.


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