Monday, January 16, 2012

Passing on the Stoke

I wouldn’t quite call Pierce Kavanagh the “Michael Moore” of the surf industry, but the 6’2”  bearded body surfer has created a wave of fervor for the eco-surf documentary Manufacturing Stoke since its debut in the Spring of 2011. The critically acclaimed film about sustainability in the surf industry is more than an in-your-face documentary about why surf manufacturers should clean up their act. This film creates an essential and entertaining dialogue about the current and future state of  the surf industry and its dire impacts on the Earth. In between candid interviews with some top influentials in the green surf movement (such as Bird Huffman, Ned McMahon, Jon Wegener, Ed Lewis, Danny Hess and Clay Peterson), the film is gleamed with superb wave riding cinematography and a  groovy soundtrack. Manufacturing Stoke gives an insightful look at how some pioneers are changing the rhythm of the surf industry through their own visions and eco creations.
Pierce and his wife Petra (co-creator of Manufacturing Stoke) came up with the idea for the film after attending the Cardiff Surf Classic and Rerip Green Fest in 2010 in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Calif.
“I was walking around the booths and saw a shift in consciousness from people who were switching to more organic components  and an environmental awareness that I had not seen before in the surf industry,” Kavanagh says.  “Through  my research I found individuals  who were manufacturing their own stoke and pushing  away from the mainstream and developing their own products and lifestyle. … Everything has to start from a grassroots level.”
Armed with this new consciousness, the Kavanaghs created Misfit Pictures and shortly after assembled a talented group of filmmakers/surfers to make Manufacturing Stoke.  The independent film, which was made on a shoestring budget coupled with a lot of stoke, is an impressive debut from Misfit Pictures. From using news footage from the astonishing close of Clark Foam in December 2005 due to its use of deadly, toxic materials, to a whimsical view of wave riding from top to bottom, Manufacturing Stoke takes the “Oh shit what have we done?” a step further by exploring and offering  solutions to the growing challenge of enjoying the ocean without destroying it and ourselves.
To quote one of my favorite lines from the film, “There’s nothing more punk rock than being sustainable.”
Manufacturing Stoke, which appeals not only to surfers but ocean lovers alike, should be revered as the pinnacle of the surf industry’s transformation towards a cleaner way of life.
This Dirty Hippy gives Manufacturing Stoke five shakas!

You may even get a glimpse or viewing of Manufacturing Stoke  during the first ever San Diego Surf Film Festival (  May 11-13, 2012 at Bird's Surf Shed. Stay tuned!

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  1. “There’s nothing more punk rock than being sustainable.” Andrea that is a GREAT line. Love it..I am hoping I will be able to attend the SD Surf Film Festival..maybe We will meet up then.

    1. Thanks sister!!! The festival will be simply amazing!!! I hope you can make it down!!!

  2. thanks for spreading the word. it all starts with a switch in consciusness

  3. For sure Erik! Thanks for your consciousness! It's a powerful thing! Hope to see you at the festival!! Andrea