We are continuing our retrospective tour of some of the best surf films of the early 2000's, with Shelter—Co-directed by Taylor Steele and Chris Malloy.
The crew that brought this movie together was more or less the same group responsible for Thicker Than Water, a film we reviewed last week.
Upon a rewatch, I realized a trend with the full-length surf films of my youth—while the entire film is enjoyable, there tends to be one scene that is cemented in my memory. In TTW it was the green single fin scene. In Shelter, it was the green bonzer scene, featuring Donovan Frankenreiter and Rob Machado.
I realize a trend in the movie segments that caught my attention—green tinted boards with some variation of a single fin.
Unlike the green singlefin scene from TTW, where I was a little disappointed by the surfing all these years later, Donovan looks like he was born with this bonzer attached to his feet. Machado hardly disappoints on a red egg—with a lateral surfing repertoire that I'm still aspiring to emulate. The guys on the trip score this scene with a rendition of Stay Young, a country song made popular by Don Williams.
If there were a runner-up for most memorable scene, the Jon Swift segment is probably it, partly due to the "Jon Swift is an astrophysicist. Jon swift doesn't like bombs." monologue from Rob Machado.
That segment also contains the first glimpses of a longboard in a Woodshed Films flick, under the capable feet of Mr. Tudor.
It's no wonder the first board I ever shaped was a 6'6 singlefin egg, rather than a longboard, the influences of my late teen years were pretty clearly driven by shortboard guys switching up their equipment and riding eggs. It would still be a. few years before I would see Thomas Campbell's The Seedling, a Hall of Fame film in its own right.
All in all, Shelter is a worthy rewatch. The soundtrack is mostly self-produced by the surfers on screen, with some contributions from some fellow early 2000's stalwarts like the White Buffalo. If nothing else, invest the 2-3 minutes in the Donovan scene—it will get you inspired to want to go surf a bonzer egg at the next available opportunity.