One Man Was Behind The Trendiest Wave Of Yesteryear
The common denominator in Saturn, Glad You Scored, Trilogy Vol 2 and Stab High.
Two weeks ago we discussed the peculiar phenomenology of ‘trending’ waves.
As a case study we referenced West Australia’s Cobblestones in the early 2010’s — a wave JJF, Albee Layer, Matt Meola decimated in ‘DONE’. Filmmaker Blake Kueny later claimed the ‘best surfing he’s ever seen’ was two very sharky sessions at the break in April 2012 (in the midst of the WA govs culling program) where the trio ticked off never-been-seen-before airs with ‘a checklist mentality.’
Another example we referenced of a wave that trended was Lakey Peak in 2022: which featured in: Saturn, Glad You Scored, Stab High and the forthcoming Trilogy Vol 2 by Aether Films. The latter of which took a production crew of 12 to document Ethan Ewing, Seth Moniz and Griffin Colapinto with “two different types of drone teams, a water cinematographer, a couple of land angles and a stabilized boat rig,” eating up a good chunk of their $USD250K Indonesia budget. Ironically, they were the first of all the trips to visit, and the last to release any footage.
Much like the state of the tower Stab built just prior to our arrival, Lakeys from a surf cinema perspective has been completely obliterated – at least for the time being.
Interestingly, the common denominator on all four of those trips was one of Indonesia’s best non-native camera operators and producers, Nate Lawrence. Nate ensured everything ran as smoothly as possible on the ground at Stab High — not a breezy task with the concurrent machete war outbreak happening just down the road.
Nate offered Stab the following analysis of why waves trend. “Waves trend because humans are sheep. And because they follow their heroes. A young John John, Matt Meola and Albee at Cobblestones going off set that fire ablaze. On that trip, I remember those three surfed that wave by themselves almost entirely for two weeks. They got a very young Jack Robinson to surf with them a couple times, but for the most part surfers from the QS would come check it and leave.”
Nate continues, “We scored Lakeys for Saturn and then Dane wanted to come to Indo. So it made sense to hit lakeys again. After a good trip or two, it’s easy to picture yourself there scoring too. So another trip gets booked. Surf films used to make waves rise in popularity. Lost Atlas blew up Yoyos in Sumbawa after Kai and I brought John John, dusty, Mitch and Chippa there. It had previously been overlooked for pro trips. After that globe went there. Then dozens of film trips. So I’d say it’s a combination of things. But mostly just following what your favorite surfers do.”
Quik’s Saturn trip saw Al Cleland Jr, Kael Walsh and Rolo Montes to da Peak in June. “The winds were good almost everyday,” explains Wade Carroll who filmed and edited all three of the extended Saturn cuts. “Nate looked at the charts and made the call while we were in G Land. The trades looked oddly quiet for that time of year, and we ended up getting good surf for 10 days straight.”
Dane Reynolds — hoping to bank a segment for Glad You Scored — asked if Wade, Rolo and Kael would stay put for a little longer while he made his way over.
“As soon as he arrived, the waves went shit. Dane was kinda pissed because he was trying to film Glad You Scored, and we were showing him all the Saturn footage. I don’t know if that’s why he ended up calling it ‘Glad You Scored,’ but Rolo and I thought it might be related. Dane has this thing called ‘the black cloud’ that he reckons follows him wherever he goes and turns the waves to shit,” laughs Wado.
Snookered, Dane asked Nate Lawrence how he could possible put together a surf film given the (lack thereof) conditions. It was Nate who put him on the button at the left tube seen at the end of the film.
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