Watch: Surfing Exists Between The Boundaries Of Pleasure And Fear - Stab Mag
Alessa Holloway finds the divide. Photo: Bielmann

Watch: Surfing Exists Between The Boundaries Of Pleasure And Fear

Mahina Florence and the Billabong women give us a modern history lesson.

cinema // Feb 1, 2022
Words by Cori Stephens
Reading Time: 2 minutes

In an age of incessant progression, it can seem strange to pause and reflect on how we got here as a species, as a society, and as a culture of fun-loving beings. What are we doing here? How did we arrive at this point of advancement, where on a daily basis, we see no shortage of athletes hucking themselves under hefty ledges of water to be either pounded into the ocean’s floor or thrust victoriously from its depths? 

In Billabong Womens latest installment of their ongoing “Know the Feeling” series, the envelope-pushing is politely put on hold and a graceful pause is taken to inspect and honor the roots of where this ancient wave-sliding tradition has evolved from. Through brief but intimate profiles of a handful of lady legends, we’re given a local’s tour of the island of Oahu — the arguable birthplace of surf culture — by one of its native daughters, Mahina Florence. 

Wakiki: the best straight hander on earth. Photo: Billabong

From experiences shared by the West Side’s Ha’a Keaulana and Alessa Holloway (née Quizon), to Waikiki’s Tammy Moniz, and the North Shore’s Luana Silva, the Billabong women expose new layers of the beauty and depth of surfing’s influence — not only on the culture of this Pacific Island chain, but on the world at large. 

As unsurprising as it can be to see the words ‘surfing’ and ‘Hawaii’ together in the same sentence, this reverent look takes us on a slightly more nuanced journey into the subtleties of surfing’s history, and it’s clear that a common current ripples through each and every lineup. 

As Hawaiian transplant Buzzy Trent once one-sidedly stated, “waves are not measured in feet or inches, they are measured in increments of fear.” So too can they be measured in moments of pleasure, and that’s what keeps us coming back – an indescribable emotion that can only be derived from slipping (or ripping) down the face of a wave. It’s a connectedness, a sense of belonging and a feeling we all want to know.

Watch the film above, then check out the new BB women’s line here.


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