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Surf Gear Reviews

The Drifter

The other night I was lucky enough to attend the Encinitas premiere of The Drifter, a new film by Taylor Steele featuring Rob Machado.  The screening was held at the historic La Paloma theater.

drifterposterBefore the movie the audience was treated to some great music by Rob, Jon Swift, Fernando Apodaca and Todd Hannigan.  I’ve been a fan of Jon Swift since I first heard his music in the 2001 surf video “Shelter” (Jon Swift is an astrophysicist).  Getting to hear him play live was a treat, and they sounded amazing.

The movie “The Drifter” is more of a travelog / inner journey film than it is a traditional surf film.   The entire film takes place in Indonesia on the island of Bali as well as other surrounding islands, following Rob as he wanders aimlessly trying to get away from the herd.  He finally ends up pitching his tent on a hill where he’s just moments away from a flawless left.

The cinematography is excellent, and it’s almost a love letter to Indonesia in a way, highlighting the people and the unique, friendly villages.  Even though I was expecting more surfing I still very much enjoyed this film.  It’s not so serious that it’s beating you over the head with philosophy, but rather maintains a thread of self reflective humor that’s reminiscent of the Endless Summer movies.

After the film they played the bonus surf section and we were treated to Rob and Jon playing along with the footage.  Taylor Steele and Rob also did a Q+A session after the film where they got to expand a bit on the making of the movie.

Jon Swift and Rob jam before the film

Taylor Steel and Rob did a Q+A session after the movie
Taylor Steel and Rob did a Q+A session after the movie

If you can’t make it to a premiere then catch the Drifter on DVD. for more info

also, check out Jon Swift’s music:

Hayley Gordon

Hayley Gordon has been surfing for over 20 years. Riding both shortboards and longboards, she's traveled the world to surf but mainly sticks to her two home locations of San Diego and Long Island.

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