Stab Magazine | Kelly Slater Single Fin Sessions, Vintage Tom Curren And Momentum II's Secret Tapes

Kelly Slater Single Fin Sessions, Vintage Tom Curren And Momentum II’s Secret Tapes

Taylor Steele’s unlocked archives inside.

style // Jan 10, 2019
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

When HBO producers decided to tell the Momentum story, they showed up at Taylor Steele’s storage unit somewhere in San Diego, loaded a rental car full of old, rapidly decaying tapes that hadn’t been seen for nearly 30 years, and split. 

They were searching for the unseen gold from the New School generation’s most prolific filmer, and as part of the process, agreed to convert Steele’s voluminous archive from analog to digital. Steele admitted at the premiere in L.A. that it was an endeavor he probably never would have taken on himself, that the tapes could easily have decayed, and the footage likely would have been lost to the sands of time.

With HBO’s Momentum film now in the can, Steele’s entertaining himself with a little pet project called The Momentum Files on YouTube. Cutting clips together from any and all of Steele’s various projects over the years, the goal is to post something new to the newly launched YouTube channel every day. 

“They digitized and amassed this huge archive of materials for that HBO project… but most of it didn’t end up used in the film, which is less ‘surfing’ and more documentary about their friendships. There was so much cool stuff, and a ton of other things we had just been sitting on hard drives, we thought it would be cool to create home for all that stuff,” explained Nathan Myers, who’s been working with Steele for 15 years and is collaborating with him on The Momentum Files.

It’s still early days on the channel, but they’ve already mined some gold. The “secret video” at the end of “Momentum II” with NoFx doing a cover of “Stand By Me” is a classic. There’s Kelly Slater ripping a single-fin cut to Ugly Casanova’s Barnacles, Tom Curren being Tom Curren, Benji Weatherly bedazzled on roller-skates, and all kinds of other hijinks that made that era unique. Shane Dorian with frosted tips and sideburns spinning donuts in a muddy parking lot is another memorable moment. 

“Raw materials will be appearing on Youtube daily, rolled out in the eras they were created,” continued Myers. “From the early ’90s on up til present day. So, if you’re subscribed, you’ll be along for a ride through all that history, or you can just pop in anytime and check out what interests you.”

One thing that really stands out is how much boards have changed since the era of the “glass slipper.” Long, narrow and rockered out, it’s amazing those guys surfed as well as they did on them. Everyone appears a bit over-gunned in most of the clips, which pre-date Machado’s love affair with the fish, the “retro revolution” and the newer design aesthetics of short, flat and wide. A young, skinny Donavon runs by in one clip with a pintail under his arm that looks like a frickin’ water ski.  

The other obvious thing that stands out is the hair. Donavon wasn’t farming it back then, while Dorian’s was so god damn fucking good. Slater’s wasn’t bad either. 

The Momentum Files is a bit like flipping back through your high school yearbook. It’s fun to look back and get lost in it all. There’s some good times, great surfing and plenty to laugh about, but maybe the coolest thing is that most of the Momentum crew are still in the water, ripping and doing their thing.

Bear with us, as we look back through the rearview. 


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

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent


You’re Gonna Click On An Oscar Lungburne 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

Mormaii Founder Raided By Brazilian Feds On Suspicion Of Plotting Against Democracy

Curiously, he's the second surf brand founder to become entangled in a political scandal of…

Sep 24, 2022

The Electric Acid Surfboard Test With Mick Fanning, Episode 4

There are three boards left. Which one is Mick taking home?

Sep 23, 2022

Watch: Tresha

The Bella Kenworthy Edit.

Sep 22, 2022

Photos: Welcome To Vans Stab High Indonesia, Presented By Monster Energy

Welcome to Lakey Peak. Now do airs.

Sep 22, 2022


Taro Watanabe Is The Love Child Of Your Favorite 80’s Surfers

Watch his new edit 'Sonic Youth' now.

Sep 22, 2022

The Four-Finned, Carbon-Wrapped, Vacuum-Bagged Board That Won The 2022 World Title 

The minds behind Sharp Eye and Dark Arts break down Filipe's winning plank.

Sep 22, 2022

Selema Masekela Discusses The New Film “Sweet Adventure,” A New Love For El Salvador and His Not-So-New Music Career 

"It's literally the entirety of my life coming full circle in a way that I…

Sep 22, 2022