In the seventh section of his 1970 film “Pacific Vibrations,” John Severson highlights the board building industry and surfing as a competitive sport.
Shaper Chuck Dent quickly–and intensely–breaks down how a surfer can make a living making surfboards while maximizing surf time. Dent makes it seem way too simple to be possible-maybe it was at the time.
Board length wasn’t the only thing transitioning in the late sixties-surfers’ perspectives on competitive surfing was too. At 0:40, U.S. Champion Corky Carroll explains that he sees competitive surfing as a sport becoming an irrelevant part of surfing as a whole. Carroll theorizes that in the future, “It might not mean anything, and that’s good.”
As the filmmaker, Severson remains objective in the segment but it’s hard not to notice his circus-like framing of a surf contest that ensues after Carroll’s comments.
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