Cam Richards and Victor Pakpour recently spent two weeks together in Portugal working on “22,” an eight-minute short we’ll be premiering right here tomorrow. It’s a collaboration between two highly talented individuals. Richards, the underrated east coaster with a real shot at qualifying for the Championship Tour in the next few years, and Pakpour, one of the best young filmmakers in our world of surf. We called Richards at the Florida Pro, to learn a little more about “22,” his thoughts on the qualifying grind, and what else he has in store for 2018.
How’s cold Florida treating you?
It’s freezing right now! I wasn’t expecting this weather at all.
You’re down at Sebastian Inlet for The Florida Pro, the first QS of 2018. How are you feeling about it all?
[Laughs] This whole thing blows my mind. I’m doing it [the QS], and I’m doing alright, but I don’t see myself on the QS for too long. Hopefully I’ll qualify, of course. But otherwise, I’m not gonna do 10 or 15 years on it. I can’t handle that.
This is only your second full go at it though, yeah?
Yeah. Last year was my first year doing the comps. I went to Australia to do a couple of the QS1000’s and spend time in OZ in the beginning of the year, and I ended up winning the first contest and getting second in the one after. Then the WSL gave me a wildcard into the two 6000’s afterwards, and I got some points in those, so from there I was like, ‘Oh shit, I actually have to do this thing now.’ I did OK in the back half of the year, and ended up finishing 69th. So I figured I’ll at least give it another go this year, and see how that goes.
Do you enjoy doing the events?
I like to compete, but I never train. I don’t wear headphones on the beach. I don’t know, I just feel like so much of it is luck and I hate putting that much pressure on myself. I just find it’ll mentally wear you out. So yeah, I do them, and they’re fun. I definitely want to qualify and get to actually surf good waves in contests, and I definitely want to keep a good seed for 2019, because the rumor is the WSL is going to a four month qualifying season, and I love that idea. That way I can do other shit rather than just think about the contests all year.
A qualifying season would be so much better. You’d get the best of both worlds: you can compete and try to get on tour, but also take time out solely to focus on projects like “22,” the edit you’re releasing tomorrow.
Exactly. On the QS you can get so lost. Last year flew by. All of a sudden it was Christmas. But yeah, because I was competing I hadn’t done an edit in awhile, and Victor [Pakpour] and I had been talking about working together all year. He works on a lot of Vissla and D’blanc edits already, so we pitched Vissla on the idea of us making something together. The liked the idea, so Victor came to Portugal in between the two QS comps over there a couple months back, since that was the only time I had to work on something like this. So yeah, it’s pretty much all from that trip. There’s a couple clips from CA in the beginning, but otherwise it’s all Portugal.
How was that session at The Cave? And how are you still alive after that wipeout?
That was my first wave out there, and it was on my 22nd birthday. I got so smoked. I should probably be in the hospital [laughs]. I was checking it in the morning and Seabass and Tanner Hendrickson pulled up. I told them I was gonna paddle out, and I’d love if they joined me. They were like, “There’s no way we’d let you go out there by yourself!” But then I took that wave, and paddled back out and they were baffled. Like, “You’re an idiot. Why did you go on that wave?”
It’s tough to get enough A-clips in two weeks to make an eight minute short. I know the waves were a challenge, but you guys nailed it.
Thanks. This was the first trip-based edit I’ve ever done. It was sick, because I felt like I had to land shit. It was kind of like a competition in itself. I was nervous in the beginning, because the waves weren’t very good, and I didn’t want Victor to come all the way to Europe and not get any work down, so I was putting a lot of pressure on myself. But we ended up getting a few really fun days, and capped the trip off with that session out at The Cave on my birthday, which was also our last day of filming, so that’s where the name came from.