“Born in storms on the open sea, waves do not have gentle beginnings. They are wild at birth.
Through the discipline of wind and gravity, they are transformed into rhythmic swells of uniform height still containing the power of the storm which formed them as they travel across thousands of miles to distant shores.
As the swells enter the shallow coastal waters they crest, and in one last dramatic moment, display their power and beauty as they break onto the shores of their destination.
It is here at the death of a storm’s energy that the surfer connects with the wave, using it to express himself, just as a painter uses the canvas, or a dancer the stage. It is here between the wind and the water, that man performs an intense duet with the sea.”
Thus opens Liquid Stage: The Lure of Surfing, a one-hour documentary that looks beyond the stereotypes of surfing into its heart and soul.
Through interviews, archival footage, and recent surfing footage, Liquid Stage explores the evolution of surfing “style” from its Hawaiian roots to the present commercial attitude in competition.
Surf legends such as Greg Noll and Mickey Munoz share their stories from the Golden Age of Surfing and recent legend Brad Gerlach explains his approach to style and competition.
Board shapers Skip Frye and Rusty Preisendorfer describe the sculpture and design of surfboards, and surfing publisher and historian Steve Pezman helps us see the events and forces that have influenced the changes in surfing.
Intercut with these interviews is archival footage from John Severson, Bud Browne, Greg Noll, and Bruce Brown, as well as recent footage shot by surfing cinematographer Jeff Neu.
Liquid Stage is a surfing documentary for surfers and non-surfers alike because it is not just about surfing, but about life, about what we can learn from intimate contact with nature.
This film reveals that while big business and competition have somewhat veiled the true nature of surfing, the art of riding waves remains just that, an art form, a dance, a way of life.