[Spending more time in front of the screen than usual? More YouTubes than tubes? We’ve compiled a half dozen surf flicks you can watch online free while the world has a little collective think about its behaviour, you can find em all here.
Eyeballs hurt? No worries, check out the Lockdown Special episode of our podcast.]
Good Times (1993)
by Taylor Steele
The definitive Taylor Steele film is probably the one you paid full price for in a 90’s surf shop. Maybe you had em all, on tape to tape bootleg versions, as you probably weren’t buying them all, not at £19.99 a pop anyway. Mine was Good Times, for the above reason.
In the mid 90’s surfing was scored by the worst kind of music in the world, SoCal pop punk. “I just wanna have fun with all my friends, but Mom is making me tidy my room.” You know, when Mom makes you tidy it and you’re, like just so mad that you just wanna pick up an electric guitar and play a punk rock song decked out head to toe in puffy branded surf wear (that Mom bought at the mall) and have it reverb furiously round the San Diego beach front gated community, the ultimate in teen rebellion.
It was such an amazing time for music, in the UK at least, of almost any and every kind, but this is what we got if we wanted high performance surfing, and you had to try get past that. Non-surfing friends of mine couldn’t, and whenever I’d put surfing videos on they’d make me turn the sound off.
Anyway, America had the surfers at the time, the New Schoolers were all that was fresh and exciting in surfing. In Australia, there was nobody to get particularly excited about, evidenced by the fact that Todd Prestige is in this film. Australia had waves, was the place you actually wanted to go, but in the era after the Aussie tour animals, but before Taj & Coolie kids, America reigned supreme.
Checkout Greg Browning’s bonkers turn at 12m15s, which at the time, was a real pause and rewind moment. We were all scratching out heads in our puffy branded surfwear. Elsewhere, Good Times is could be close to peak Kalani, some of the precision work he’s doing at Rocky Lefts on 1 3/4″ thick Rusty’s still raise eyebrows today. Good Times crystallised a deep and pure love for Shane Dorian, an affection that still flowers in me today.
The Taylor Steele films tended to have secret movies on the end of the tape, if you just left it playing for a good fifteen mins or so there’d be a bonus section on the end. Pointing that out to a friend who hadn’t known about the secret movie hiding on his own VHS was one of the great asserting your deeper emersion in surf culture moves of the time.