Stab Magazine | When ...Lost Crashed Surfer Poll, And How Their Films Defined A Generation

Watch 'Wildcard: The Moana Jones-Wong Story'

448 Views

When …Lost Crashed Surfer Poll, And How Their Films Defined A Generation

Or, “Momentum who? A defense of the ..Lost Generation’s lasting influence.” 

style // Jan 13, 2019
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Robert Redford and the Zimbalist Brother’s recent HBO documentary, The Momentum Generation is terrific—candid, raw, thoroughly produced but sincere and, for the most part, true.

True for the most part because, well, if I’m being honest, the hyperbolic foundation the narrative’s built on feels a little flimsy: were the Momentum Generation—or, more specifically, Taylor Steele’s handful of early films—really the era’s most influential?

Fuck. No.

Surveying surfers roughly my age—say, 30 to 45—who came up copping whatever VHS landed on the local shop’s shelves in the mid-90s, to a person they’ll tell you, when pressed for what flicks got the heaviest rotation: The …Lost Movies.

 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/OgX3QfE2iOI

“None of our first ten films won a single Surfer Poll Award. But they garnered other public (non-Surfer Mag) critical praise, and were massive commercial successes at surf shops,” Matt Biolos says. “Here’s a story: What’s really Going Wrong  still has the record for most nominations ever in Surfer Poll. Noms for every category. Yet they gave us zero wins. This was back when Surfer Poll mattered. It was a much larger affair. Packed house at the Grove. Not an elitist little party in a bar on the North Shore. I can’t remember who the staff was there at Surfer, then, but they dreamed up a special award just to get Randal up on the stage: they called it “Trophy du Beavis and Butthead.”

“They called him up, and the place went nuts.”

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Zzdl-KFZzsI

Sublime’s Bradley Nowell, hanging at the …Lost House with Randall and the boys in the early-’90s. 

It could be argued that, OK, sure: the Momentum Generation’s cast of characters have gone on to do incredibly influential, culture-shifting things—Slater, of course, and Shane Dorian, post-Chesser’s passing, most notably.

But peep the roster: The …Lost Generation’s motley, rabid pack included, just off the top of my head: Chris Ward, towheaded Andy and Bruce Irons, teenaged Cory and Shea Lopez, Christian and Nathan Fletcher, Archy, Shane Beschen, not to mention John Robertson, Aaron Cormican, Joe Crimo, Justin Matteson, etc.

And that’s just counting guys who (mostly) rode Matt’s boards in the films. From Momentum 3, to The Decline and beyond, Mike and Matt’s films featured everyone from Timmy Curran and Dane Kealoha to Tom Curren and Kelly Slater. 

In fact, I have to believe that Reola, Biolos, and the …Lost crew were the first to publicly troll Slater, running parody ads of the then-young prodigy, hassling him on camera, etc. Take this scene from Ward Stories, at 6:57, wherein the camera zooms in hoping to focus on a very ingrown hair on KS’s neck: 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/X7lfAX-vBKM

Amazing. 

And while they surely encouraged a generation of groms to consider more radical lifestyles than that of their Momentum Gen. peers, the movies resonated well beyond just the ’90s wasted youth.

5’5″ 19 1/4 was a game changer,” admits Joel Tudor, of the film that, when it came out in 1997, sent me, my friends, and every backyard shaper scouring for fish templates to show our shapers. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/-rFETbIP6fs

I will say it came as a surprise, watching the Robert Redford-produced HBO special at the star-studded Santa Monica premiere, to hear that bands like Pennywise, Blink-182, and Unwritten law attributed much of their very commercial success to Taylor’s films.

Far out, I thought, before a bout of PTSD set in at the baseline to “Bro Hymn.”

Even at eleven years old, my bullshit meter was tuned enough to recognize the difference between the smug, three-chord Orange County bands skimmed from the top of Epitaph and Fat Records’ shallow end of the talent pool, and the often obscure bands, genuinely terrifying bands that Mike and Matt were pulling out from their vinyl collections.

The …Lost Films introduced my generation to the real shit, the OG bands that had gotten buried in flannel, or left forgotten at the dawn of the MTV age:Fear, Black Flag, Gang Green, The Cramps, TSOL, The Replacements, the truly underrated D.I., practically the entire Minor Threat discography, not to mention Fugazi, Gorilla Biscuits, Farside, Ignite, Frank Black, and a just ungodly amount of Sublime—they were all imprinted on me and all my little latch-key friend’s pre-teen brains through the …Lost Films.

God, just thinking about these songs, I can imagine each surfer’s sections, and the rabbit hole opens up, just how many truly fucking iconic parts were in those films. Let’s indulge: 

Here are some of the finest moments from the …Lost Generation:

 Cory, Andy, and Shea fucking shit up at Waimea shorepound, to Bad Brains “I Against I,” in 5’5” 19 ¼. (Starts at 19:52)

https://www.youtube.com/embed/a1qv9I4onZ8

The same old story, no factual glory
I against I against I against I
I against I against I
And I say I don’t like it
And I know I don’t want it
I against I against I against I

Teenage Bruce and Andy Irons in …Lost Across America. (Starts at 33:35)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rIScWpwEHY 

 John “Robo” Robertson’s opening section from “The Decline,” set to the Dead Boys’ fucking zinger, “Sonic Reducer.” (Starts at 8:03, after the longest intro, ever.)

https://www.youtube.com/embed/X6XoJcv4728

The Dustin Dollin of surf, Robo is still a fucking maniac, chasing tail and hunting every swell as far south as he can afford to get away from San Clemente. A Baja mission isn’t complete without a Robo sighting. See a hooded figure paddling deeper down the point from everyone, getting impossibly tubed? Listen for the whispers: Is that fuckin’ Robo?!

Robo’s still shaping, working as a hired gun at a handful of factories when he’s not getting very, very barreled, and trying to keep his Plymouth Voyager between the lines. 

Some of Andy Irons, Shea Lopez, and co’s finest Indo performances, in “Lost At Sea.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kjg-nu80l0Y

This whole movie is just fucking incredible. Indo footage at it’s absolute best. 

Tom Curren building a board with George Greenough, shot by Daniel “Tomo” Thompson’s father, Mark, and set to “Nice Guy Eddie,” by Epperly. 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/cQO9DLLyybw

From the …Lost Memory Bank: “Tom Curren’s section from “5’5 x 19 14.” Curren shapes his own board then rips the shit out of it on the Gold Coast. Curren proves again that you don’t have to ride a 6’1 squash tail to rip. Section from the Lost Video “5’5 x 19 1/4.” Tom’s never ridden …Lost boards or even heard of us for all we know but he’s the gnarliest surfer ever…. So watch closely kids, team riders, pros and joes – this is surfing. Psychedelic footage shot by Mark Thompson (father of Daniel the fish kid) at George Greenough’s Compound. Song by some guy named Epperly – never seen nor heard from him again…”

Nathan and Christian Fletcher’s section of “…Lost Across America V.1,” set to Fear’s “I don’t care about you.” (Starts at 41:57.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rIScWpwEHY

I see Hollywood boulevard,
welfare hotel,
I spent the night in jail,
near the Wicox hotel! 

I don’t care about you!
Fuck you!
I don’t care about you! 

Kasey Curtis’ absolutely brutal power, the big guy blowing the backs out of Salt Creek wedges and getting absolutely drained at Off The Wall, to Dropkick Murphy’s version of “Cadence to Arms,” and their original, “Do or Die.” (Starts at 22:25)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rIScWpwEHY

Pretty much any of Aaron Cormican’s sections, especially from “…Lost Across America Vol. 1,” mostly filmed in New Smyrna and set to “Mommy’s Little Monster,” by Social Distortion.  (Starts at 30:30)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rIScWpwEHY

“Chris Ward, One Week In October, …age 16” from What’s Really Goin’ Wrong

 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/v1KIWbRAVTA

When I hear people talk about how much better this generation’s groms are than kids in the ‘90s, I’m dumbstruck to have to remind people of Chris Ward’s section from What’s Really Going Wrong—”One Week In October. Chris Ward… age 16.” The opening board transfer, Wardo’s innate rhythm at Lowers, his command of what can only be called Classic California Point Surfing, with more than “New School” flair. Probably watched this section a thousand times, easy.

 Randall’s Stair Surfing

https://www.youtube.com/embed/cdnpAG__bnk

The genius of the …Lost Films could be found in their widely acknowledged mantra: Surf All Day, Party All Night. Much the way the Blind’s Video Days did for street skateboarding, the …Lost Films were the closest surf films had ever gotten to proper Cinema Verite since, say the first Runman films, and quite possibly the last of their kind. 

Filming Randall stair surfing has been my life’s highlight,” says Jason “Mini” Blanchard, who shot the famous scene above. 

“Remember I wanted to strangle everyone for destroying Kasey’s trade in [the board Randall’s on above],” recalls Reola. “Then [Mini] said: “Relax. Sit down and watch the footage.” The bicycle standing up after going down the stairs is the first miracle I saw Randall perform.”

https://www.youtube.com/embed/X6XoJcv4728

Last night in Orlando I ran into Mayhem, at one of the myriad bars on International Drive just a stone’s throw from where I first encountered him, Gorkin, Cory, Shea, and the ridiculously sprawling mass of …Lost hangers on at the premiere for …Lost Across America V.1, at the long-closed Lou Lou’s Shrimp Shack (or whatever it was called). Matt congratulated me for unrelated matters, then got to talking about the Salad Days again. 

“Remember when this all used to be fun?” he asked, and immediately I couldn’t get a line from Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son out of my head. 

That world! These days it’s all been erased and they’ve rolled it up like a scroll and put it away somewhere. Yes, I can touch it with my fingers. But where is it?

The …Lost Movies deserve a place atop the most iconic and influential films to ever come from a pre-Internet Era subculture, next to Spike Jonze and Blind’s Video Days, and the early-80s punk doc, The Decline of Western Civilization (which, of course, Mayhem and Reola appropriated for their follow up to the first …Lost Across America), and I’m grateful to Matt for letting us mine the archive the last month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Comments

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

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

Billy Kemper, Mikey Wright, and Eli Olson Walk Into A Bar…

The Vans Pipe Masters heat draw is here. Let's break down the must-watch matchups

Dec 8, 2022

Watch: Kai Paula Has Arrived

Meet the 7th surfer to land a double spin in our final 2022 SEOTY entry.

Dec 8, 2022

30:27

Unlocked: ‘Nozvid’ In All Its Glory

Two years and $100K later.

Dec 8, 2022

How To Watch The Vans Pipe Masters

With less than 24 hours to go, we've put together a complete list of rules…

Dec 7, 2022

Watch: Stab’s Best Wetsuits of 2023

Our quest to objectively establish the best men's suit, women's suit, and booties out of…

Dec 7, 2022

Eithan Osborne Belongs On The 2003 World Tour

But he's gotten an invite to the 2022 Vans Pipe Masters, so we caught up…

Dec 7, 2022

30:37

“I Could Do Reels And Surf Two Foot Beachies And Hoard Cash But That’s Moral Suicide”

Noa Deane’s thoughts on money, media, airs in glassy waves and more.

Dec 7, 2022

Wildcard: The Moana Jones-Wong Story

The rise and rise of Mrs. Pipeline.

Dec 6, 2022

Watch: Torrey Meister’s Gunslinging SEOTY Entry

"Bull-riding is such a great warmup for surfing big waves."

Dec 6, 2022

Guess Who Else Just Got Invited To The Vans Pipe Masters

3 more withdrawals, and 3 more exciting replacements.

Dec 6, 2022

21:04

‘Buying Double Cheeseburgers, Acting Like He’s Hit Some Sections Today’

RAGE 400 drops ft Noz, Chun, Creed, Vinny, Jel, Wado + others!

Dec 5, 2022

What’s Happening To Orange County’s Sand, And Is It Worsening The Waves At Lowers?

Read this to upgrade your understanding of your local beach break and coastal environment.

Dec 5, 2022

Here Are The 15 People Who Qualified For The 2023 CT

After seven events and much groveling, 10 men and 5 women will officially be CT…

Dec 3, 2022

An Ode To Aussie Chick Pros From The Nineties 

A celebration of stoicism, resilience, grit, core lordship, and unconditional love.

Dec 3, 2022

Update: John John Flushes Everyone Down The Haleiwa Toilet Bowl

And the CT qualifications for 2023 are set.

Dec 3, 2022

3:53

Riaru Ito Is Cooler Than His Cucumber Garden

Meet our passion pick for the Vans Pipe Masters.

Dec 2, 2022

5 New Surfers Confirmed For The Vans Pipe Masters

Who's out, who's in?

Dec 2, 2022

Unlocked: Kael Walsh, Rolo Montes, And Al Cleland Jr In ‘Saturn’

Quik’s new 20-minute surf film is so good you’ll want to burn a DVD of…

Dec 2, 2022
Advertisement