Easily the Best thing in surfing right now
Maybe I’m like you. The early morning routine is often spent playing a dangerous game of chicken with my cellular phone. I start to check the waves, but I’m quickly into the text messages to see if any fires developed overnight. Then I scroll the news headlines and the social media feeds and begin to feel the weight of the world pressing on my chest. I usually end up in my email inbox before I’ve had coffee and so the onslaught of life continues to inflate. I end up with an overwhelming feeling of dread and panic before my feet have even touched the floor. It doesn’t even need to be bad news to make me feel this way either, it’s usually just the volume of content consumed before I’m even awake that makes me feel full and ready to poop. Which I do…with my phone. I try desperately not to be a victim — I know what I’m doing is bad and that we all need to meditate or whatever, but it gets me more often than not. Hearing the first drip-drop from my pre-programmed coffee maker in the kitchen is the first sign of optimism in the day. But there is one other thing that has been getting me psyched to ditch the phone each morning as I open up the windows and let the day in: Taylor Steele’s YouTube channel “The Momentum Files.”
Call me a victim of nostalgia but there aren’t many outlets putting out non-branded independent surf vids anymore so I find myself returning to my subscription to The Momentum Files nearly every day (although I just heard Hunter Martinez has a new film coming out August 7th called Lost in Thought featuring the new California crop which is great news).
My social media and computer feed is full of surf action of course, but I can’t quite keep up with or find the enthusiasm I’m after inside the nonstop wave pool party that’s been going on all summer. Most surf brand images and videos are polluted by horrible captions and the WSL’s attempts at appeasing everyone by making everything easy to swallow and full of exclamation points and hyperbolic statements is pretty sterile as well. So for right now, my surf happy place is in the nostalgia of Taylor’s old films. And it’s made my surf life better.
Taylor’s films probably made up a good 70 percent of my surf movie collection as a grom. I also had all the Lost Videos, Search Videos, Voluptuous, a smattering of BillyGoat Productions, Marshal K. Hattorri’s What Now series, Josh Pomer’s Kill vids, all the Puerto Undergrounds, and a good sampling of all the brand vids (Billabong Challenges, Rusty’s Playground, Tim Curran Here and Now, Nathan Fletcher’s These Colors Taste Like Music and countless others). You could say I was a dedicated surf vid fan and paid 30 bucks a pop for each of them — which is perhaps why I’ll never feel bad being critical of the surf industry. It took my childhood lunch money.
The Momentum Files YouTube is basically my Taylor Steele VHS/DVD collection digitized and organized and broken into parts. Which I now pop on in the morning while I get my act together. I must say it does me more good than any yoga, meditation or chakra alignments I’ve tried. I now leave the house like a 16 year old grom beaming with optimism.
I often sit down at keys these days wondering if the world needs even a single letter of more content. Sometimes I do skip the writing, deciding that I’m right, this planet definitely doesn’t need anymore anything and I go read a book or water my plants. Other times I consider all the joy that surfing has brought me and I carry on and keep gritting through it and rant and write and try to make something everlasting that sings to you above the roar of the social media lions. As original independent projects get harder and harder to fund in our monopolized surf industry, I think about how happy these videos made me while growing up, and how happy they are making me right now. —Travis Ferré