Dyadic: A group of two; in sociology, denoting the interaction between two people.
Muse: To think about something carefully and thoroughly.
At 6 years old, The Endless Summer was my first introduction to surfing. I would often go hang at the house next door to me to play on the playstation with my friend Patrick Farley. One night, instead of bringing out the playstation, he popped The Endless Summer into the DVD player.
There's a few memories when you're growing up that get singed into your brain. This is one of mine. I watched wide-eyed as Henry the Seal bodysurfed, they got barreled on the South Shore of Oahu, and Cape St. Francis was discovered. At 6 years old, your mind is fairly impressionable. The film's narrator, Bruce Brown, speaks with heaps of sarcasm. I took everything said as literal and I also thought that this movie of surfing in the 1960s was present day. Surfing became one of the coolest things I could imagine. An instant favorite, I would go on to watch this movie over a hundred times throughout the course of my life.
Surfing seemed like something of mythical proportions and almost somewhat unattainable in my brain at that young age. I was very into skateboarding from 6 years old on so that occupied most of my time. It was something easy to get into when all you had to do was walk out your front door. I didn't catch my first wave standing up until I was 9 years old when my other neighbor (thank you Ted Schwartz) took me to the beach and pushed me into a couple waves. It's interesting to me that the first surf film I watched left more of an impression on me than my first wave surfed. When I saw The Endless Summer, that was my first introduction to surfing and after watching more times, I would put myself in Mike Hynson and Robert August's place. Picturing what they were experiencing, that by the time I had first ridden my own wave, it seemed somewhat familiar.
At 30 years old now, I am well aware of the impact that film had across the world over the course of several decades. I've always loved surf films. Growing up on the Chris Malloy, Thomas Campbell, and Taylor Steele films, they were things that I would watch over and over. A Broke Down Melody still remains one of my favorites.
Social Media is not all bad, but it has heavily contributed to killing the era of surf films that have depth and intention. It has taken away the story telling aspect of surfing, which is what got me so psyched on surfing in the first place. Some people are still doing this so well like Ishka Folkwell (Lost Track Series with Torren Martyn), Albee Layer has produced some good stuff, Jack Coleman, and others, but it is not nearly as common as it used to be in the surfing sphere. Gone are the days of magazines and surf films being the main outlet for surf media. Stab Magazine is kind of the last major surf media outlet done well with a lot of their documentary series produced by them definitely worth a watch. Market analytics are worshipped by surf companies and if big monetary profits aren't projected, film projects aren't going to get funded. This has led to 10 second reels, vlogs, talking into the camera, gimmicks, etc. taking away the ability to use the word "core" as a descriptor of most modern surf media. I'm not here to whine as I think surfing is still in a cool place and I owe a lot of my success as a surfboard shaper to the surge of social media and the internet. It's been a big part of what allows me, as well as other smaller town shapers, the ability to make a living shaping surfboards. It turns every brand into a global brand. It is nuts that someone over in Italy can come across my instagram and order a surfboard.
My goal with Dyadic Muse to give a small contribution to surfing moving away from the heavy use of "surf porn". The idea of Dyadic Muse spurred from a year spent with Donald Brink for the YouLane podcast and seeing him always living under the idea that "what we do matters". A life lived looking at the intention and motivation behind, makes for a better one. It's led me to build better surfboards and also search for more ways to contribute positively to surfing.
Growing up with my cousin (Christian Spinella), we would make countless films from the age of 10 to 24 years old. All for fun and always a joke, but it's some of our collective best memories. I'm looking forward in getting the opportunity to work on films again with the goal of a bit more depth, but mainly just doing it for fun. The goal is to tell some of my friends' stories and the stories behind the surfboards I build.
Ethan Jolly and I have been working on the first film for Dyadic Muse over the last several months here and there. The first one is focused on my friend Jimmy Thompson and his winter on Hawaii. It follows his outlook on a specific batch of surfboards. Jimmy works hard, is intentional, naturally talented, loves surfing, and stays true to himself. I respect his outlook on surfing and it's something I can relate to. He has a cool story. I'm often learning from him through his creative approach to surfing and he always has new ideas. This is one I'm looking forward to and is almost buttoned up.
I've always scoffed at writing a blog, but I've realized it's the only way to get extended thoughts down for others if they care to read. There's no place for that on instagram. I often write on paper, so typing is different, but I see the merit. It's more for myself as I often lose my writings over time, but this blog stays on the internet, which means I get to see the progression of my thoughts. Much of this will consist of ramblings on ideas about surfboards, projects, stories, etc. If you made it this far, I am impressed.