SUPER SLIDE (1999)
Super Slide, produced in 1999 by Ira Opper, is a semi-documentary about classic “hotdog” longboarding and its resurgence. It’s well known for its claim to be the first surf video produced specifically for the DVD format. With a narration similar to the classic Endless Summer franchise, it is a fun romp through the history of surfing and the progression of longboarding.
Great historical film clips are interspersed with modern video, giving an interesting perspective on how boards, styles, and certain surf spots have changed. One segment that really shined was a trip to Hawaii where present day pros Joel Tudor, Wingnut, and Bonga Perkins rode some historical redwood longboards from the early 1900’s. Bonga’s redwood board weighed 120 pounds!
This movie really gets you stoked to go surfing. There is a good mix of surfing locations, taking the viewer on a tour of many classic surf spots including Malibu, Windansea, Pleasure Point, Santa Cruz, Hawaii, and Australia. The waves are not perfect Indonesian tubes but rather a grab bag of different sizes and conditions—all fun looking waves that you might find on a good day in your own backyard. One thing I don’t like about many high profile surf flicks today are the perfect waves and conditions that I really don’t see on a typical day at my home break. Super Slide is a great example of surfers having fun on small waves as well as large; a showcase of surfing ability in all conditions.
Super Slide also has an excellent mix of pros, semi pros, amateurs and recreational surfers. There’s no lack of talent—the moves they pull are spectacular—but the fact that the film is not limited to big name sponsored surfers makes this an everyman’s (or every woman’s) film. You’re not left feeling like you just watched the impossible, but like you want to catch some waves! Some recognizable names that were featured include Joel Tudor, the late Jay Moriarty, Wingnut, Daize Shayne, an interview with wetsuit inventor Jack O’Neill, Greg Noll, an appearance by Kelly Slater.
There are some good interviews with historical surf figures as well as present day pros, but some of these interviews might have been better left out of the video. There were a few cringe-worthy clips that show being a pro surfer doesn’t mean you’re good with words 😉
For the wahines among us, this film gets an extra star for the positive section on women’s surfing. Super Slide takes a look at the surge in popularity of surfing among women, as well as the fact that there are some very talented ladies out there. It’s a nice change of pace since the surf video industry now seems to be moving in the direction of segregated surf videos.
The music featured in Super Slide is good, but not great. The soundtrack is a varied mix of classic rock, big band, and funk, but none of the tracks really stood out.
The DVD features some extra footage as well as some music videos. The music videos don’t really feature new footage, it’s just footage from the video chopped up to some songs, but it’s a good option if you just want to watch a few minutes of pure surfing.
The video is long, but not overwhelmingly so. It’s got a lot of great footage and historical tidbits packed in. You might not want to watch the full feature over and over again because of all the interviews, but the replay value is increased by the music video options in the DVD extras.
Overall this is one of my favorites. If I’ve just had a good session, this is one of the first flicks I want to pop in my DVD player. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and I wish more surf flicks would follow its informal, fun-loving tone.
Grab this classic video to round out your collection!
Run Time: 90 minutes