Dir. Taylor Steele, 2010
When "Sipping Jetstreams" came out the bar was set for what a surf film could be. It didn't have to be all about high action, big waves or anything else. It just had to be surfing and adventure.
Steele's following to "Sipping" was greeted with the same excitement. A film about the less traveled road of surfing. Iceland, India, Vietnam, Peru and Africa set the stage for a cast of pro surfers to explore their surroundings and surf some great waves.
There is something spiritual about this style of film that does not really fit in with other genre's. Steele, Heater and Berger made another film that captures not only your attention but also the essence of where they are. They bring you in for great adventure and you want to go create your own adventure.
It is a breath of fresh air, or should it be a Sip of fresh water.
Directed by Taylor Steele Produced by Dustin Humphrey, 2006
If you’re looking for a straightforward surf movie, this isn’t it. If you’re looking for action-packed big wave insanity, this still isn’t it. But if you’re looking for one of the most cinematically captivating color rich films to explores surfing across the globe, as well as locations around those surf destinations, check out “Sipping Jetsreams.”
Taylor Steele and Dustin Humphrey collaborate on a film/ book project with some of the best filming and photography out there. From the film point of view, Taylor Steele has two of the best, and I mean best, photography directors: Todd Heater and Alex Berger. They truly capture the spirit behind the locations.
In my opinion, this film is flawless. Beautiful cinematography plus great editing plus some of the world’s best surfers equal a great film.
Dustin Humphrey’s book is equally amazing and flawless. The quality is great and it’s hefty enough to be a proper coffee table book, but, more importantly, it’s an awesome book. So just make sure someone doesn’t put a cup on the book.
To complete a positive review, “Sipping Jetstreams” is worth keeping in your library for artistic inspiration.
Directed by Taylor Steele, 2009
The film drifts in and out of consciousness, between surfing and Rob’s traveling experiences. The result is a dreamlike feel while Rob is drifting, and a realistic feeling while he is surfing. Unfortunately, this style of storyline takes away from the film as a whole.
The film opens with Rob Machado discussing why he stopped competing as a professional surfer and how he gained a more laidback, and less hectic, view on the sport and life. This “escape from the hectic lifestyle” is highlighted by his escapade through Indo. It’s halfway through his trip that we realize actual surfing is put on the back burner. This story relies heavily on the voyage.
But from a technical standpoint, the cinematography is top notch (Todd Heater is one of the best directors of photography in the sports film industry) and the editing is excellent. Actually, all technical aspects are above par and it’s only the story that seems to be lacking.
My final thoughts: Taylor Steeles’ reincarnation from surf porn to a romantic view of surfing as a sport is a direction that needs to be taken. There should be more films that focus on the true love of riding the waves and less about the athlete and the competition. And to see the kingpin of surf media behind the push shows that surfers themselves are becoming more interesting that just what they do on the water. Surfing is a lifestyle, not just an aquatic adventure.
*One (Back of my Mind) Note: What about his wife and two daughters?” Were they just waiting at home while he was floating through Indo? I’m curious.
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