Manufacturing Stoke – Surf Movie Review

Manufacturing Stoke is not the traditional surf flick and has mush less of the typical surf footage. There is not one reference to Dane Reynolds or any B-reel shots of girls in thongs on the beach. Time is spent more on interviews then action but for a guy who likes the discovery channel (because it makes me feel smarter then you) that was not a bad thing. Despite all these facts the movie was able to hold my attention for the full hour and twenty minute running.

The opening line to the movie asks a great question –”As surfers why wouldn’t we be concerned with the environment…?”

The movie then goes down all sorts of rabbit holes, exploring different corners of the surfing industry.  Here are three that really stood out to me.

the first of hopefully many surfing days with my son

First – The Kids

Today’s kids are striving to make a positive difference in this environment. Being “green” is the norm to them. They expect the big brands to be sustainable and demanding those expectations with how they spend their parents money. For me – the kids are the reason we old guys are thinking in this realm. I like walking on a clean beach. In the last few years, we are noticing more and more trash mixed in with the sand. I don’t want my son to miss out on what I’ve grow up loving. Manufacturing Stoke highlighted some kids that are todays “punks.” Young entrepreneurs going against the grain – carving out there own and better ways to do things.

"the sustainability collective" is a group of businesses striving... well you get the point

Second – The Industry

There is this fault line that is driving down the middle of surfing culture. One side you have the larger companies who are seeing a different type of green. They’ve realized that surfing is a desirable life style and want to get more and more people into boardshorts (Hey life is better in boardshorts right?) This mentality is feeding the problem, over crowding line ups and exploiting the sport for the sake of weighing down their back pocket. One statistic given in the movie is – 180,000 surfboards a year are made in one surf board factory in China. Fortunately Manufacturing Stoke shows us there is another side – people like Danny Hess, Local Clothing Co, Marko Foam, Tom Wegner and many more are thinking locally, globally and organically. They have worked environmental care into their business plans. Manufacturing Stoke highlighted a few people and brands that are heading down the right path or are at least looking for the right path to take. Opening my eyes to some different options available to me as a surf consumer.

Lastly – Me and You
The whole movie felt like a big mirror. People are participating in a dialog and I can’t help to now feel I need to join into this conversation. How can I create a safer, more sustainable environment for my son and his sons and so on? How do our actions today effect our tomorrow? This movie wasn’t packed to the brim with  a ton of great surfing footage, but I still felt stoked at the end of the video. I wasn’t bummed at the current state of the world – I was hopeful and encouraged to join up and take part. Manufacturing Stoke did just enough “bashing” of the man, to help me to see some truth without getting overly “preachy.” I don’t feel guilty wearing my Nike 6.0s while writing this, but I will think twice about my purchases the next time I’m riding my bike to my local surf shop (see what I did there with the bike reference?)

So get together with some friends, download it here (no plastic jewel cases) and watch Manufacturing Stoke, then talk about it when it’s over.

Did you see it?
What did you think?
Got any other “green” thoughts or tips? Let me know in the comments down below.