Stab Magazine | Ellis Ericson Wants You To See Dale Egan’s Self-Made Biopic

Ellis Ericson Wants You To See Dale Egan’s Self-Made Biopic

Dale Egan’s A Day Later And A Dollar Short: A film review, by Ellis Ericson.

style // Jul 19, 2016
Words by Ellis Ericson
Reading Time: 3 minutes

It was the sort of film when your jaw is just on the floor. It’s not really a surf film. Dale is more of an artist, an unsung hero of Australian surfing, he was part of the early punk movement in Sydney and the UK. It’s very broad in its topics. One minute he’s surfing Warriewood and ripping, next minute he’s collecting 60’s art-deco furniture in the 80’s, then running a store in Sydney and just being an art freak. You couldn’t box him in, and it kept you entertained the whole time.

The night I saw it was the night Mick won J-Bay. I was watching the WSL corporate contest thing and all the scores, which I don’t usually watch, but I got sucked into it that night. Just before the final I went and watched the movie and it was such a drastic contrast to the surf media world. Here was this underground guy premiering his own movie to a small theatre and telling his side of the surf history.

I knew of Dale Egan from when I lived on the northern beaches. I bumped into him surfing Alley Rights one day at Narrabeen when I was riding a single fin. He was like, you like old boards? I’ve got a warehouse in Warriewood with heaps of that stuff and I’m getting rid of it. He was riding this thruster with foils down his fins which were just little nubs. I was like, this guy is trippy. He ripped too, like Wayne Lynch mixed with Derek Hynd or something. So we went back to his warehouse where he was living and it was this full surf cave with crazy memorabilia, old MP (Michael Peterson) boards stashed under his bed, art deco furniture, just this full treasure cave. I bought a jumper, sunnies, and some other stuff off him from memory.

I went and saw the movie, and I hadn’t seen him for seven or eight years, and he was like, ‘Ellis, how are ya mate?’ Straight up. And the film is rad. It was like a condensed version of his life in 35 minutes. It would’ve been a really hard thing to put together but he’s such a collector of old footage and magazine clippings from when he was a surfer, when he was a furniture collector, when he was in the Sydney underground punk movement. He had all this memorabilia which made a really good foundation for movie.

He was continually making something from nothing. He had a bunch of bad luck but he’d go out and be true to what he was about, which was recycling or being an artist and he just kept coming up and thinking of creative ways to keep pushing and living outside the box. It was inspiring for anyone out living on the fringe or trying to do something on their own. He was that guy living it, going from rags to riches, literally living that life. It was sick.

He also absolutely ripped. After he went a little bit stale on regular surfing he started to foil his fins down. Derek Hynd talks about it as being a big inspiration on him fully taking the fins out of his board. They were living in the same area, surfing Newport, and while he didn’t fully take his fins out he was one of the earliest pioneers of modern day friction-free surfing.

Someone yelled out in the Q&A afterwards: What’s the most expensive thing you’ve found? He told him he’d found 400 historical photographs that sold for $20k once. He also found some chair in Palmy someone threw out of a mansion in the 80’s that was worth $10k. He made all these wicked finds because he had a keen eye for furniture and a good general knowledge of society. He could just find these gems that propelled his life along – $20k here, $10k there, 5 bucks here – just enough to keep him going. The most interesting part of the film was watching him ride the wave of his financial situation and keep living his lifestyle.

More here.


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

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

The Tragic Parallels Between The Murder Of Ricardo Dos Santos & 8x World Jiu Jitsu Champion Leandro Lo

Two Brazilian sporting icons killed brazenly by off-duty police officers.

Aug 9, 2022

The Pick-Up, Vans US Open: In The Belly Of The Beast

Finger flips, shaping with Zion Wright, slurpees, Hawaiian takeovers, and the king of Surfline rewinds.

Aug 8, 2022

Albee Layer Discusses His Not-So-Budding Acting Career And The Upcoming Film “Sweet Adventure”

"Matt and Nora were tripping a little harder than I was just because they weren't…

Aug 8, 2022

Zeke Lau & Bettylou Sakura Johnson Win The Vans US Open Of Surfing 

Hawaii dominates HB.

Aug 8, 2022

How A Former CT Surfer Gets “Absolute Beginners” Barreled In A Matter Of Months

Luke Stedman elaborates on his Blackball surf programs.

Aug 7, 2022


Sweeter Than Stolen Honey 

A versatile Haydenshapes x Dylan Graves HP (and soft board) tested in weird waves.

Aug 7, 2022

15-Year-Old Ladybird Erin Brooks Makes Final In All-Men’s Tuberiding Event

And Clay Marzo takes the dub.

Aug 6, 2022

Are We Looking At Reef Sculpting The Wrong Way? 

The pros, cons, possibilities, and mechanisms of changing reefs to suit our surfing desires.

Aug 6, 2022

The Gudang Trio Discusses Brotherhood And How To Make It To The Mountain Top Together  

Positive sibling vibrations we should all aspire to.

Aug 6, 2022


Everyone’s Local Zone Has A Mythical Wave

Kai Lenny, Imaikalani DeVault, Eli Hanneman and friends get to surf theirs.

Aug 5, 2022

The Pick-Up, Vans US Open: Harry Bryant Vs. The Wedge

A lot of swell, stolen identities, surf masochists, mutilated noses, The Wedge, skull-crushing pylons, and…

Aug 5, 2022

When Gabby And Kolohe Pull Out, The Hog Pulls In

Tahiti wildcards named.

Aug 5, 2022

First Look: The 2022 Electric Acid Surfboards

Did our questionable EAST gamble pay off for Mick Fanning's Maldivian quiver ?

Aug 4, 2022

How Boardshorts Work

They are your one chance to look cool while actually surfing. Don’t blow it.

Aug 4, 2022

A Surf/Snow/Music Fez In The Heart Of Melbourne 

URBNSURF is throwing an action-sports/live music DOOF this month and Stab Premium members are getting…

Aug 4, 2022

Peace, Love, And Mung Beans: 7 Things I Learned From Mick Fanning

Ranging from surf travel hacks to philosophy to jingle lyrics.

Aug 2, 2022

The Three Million Dollar Chinese Storm

500 board orders, coaching armies, and trips around the world — here's how China’s Olympic…

Aug 1, 2022

The Pick-Up, Vans US Open: Does The Huntington Hop Actually Work?

Ed Templeton explains Huntington Beach, the ugliest maneuver in surfing returns, a horde of strange…

Aug 1, 2022