If there's one thing surfers do well, it's generate hype. We hype up the incoming swell from two feet until it's ten feet; we hype the latest surfboard models as the saviors of our wobbly bottom turns; we hype every new face on tour as "the next Kelly Slater" before they even win a single event; and, without a doubt, surfers hype surf movies like it was an art form.
The hype around Kai Neville's latest piece, Cluster, has been building for years, as Instagram photos and clips have emerged from travel, editing bay shenanigans, and even cutting room leftovers amassed into web clips on their own. The hype has far outgrown anything the product could actually be. Now out on a multi-city feature tour, the hype machine is finally connecting with its target v-necked audience in premiere parties across the globe. Despite all the hype, or maybe because of it, reviews are mixed, even within the same publication (It Stinks! –It's Great! – make up your mind, BeachGrit).
Unless you live in one of the major cities that Cluster is touring through and have time to dedicate to such things as standing in line for a surf movie, you probably haven't seen it, nor will you be able to until it's released on iTunes and elsewhere March 17th. Never fear, we've scoured the dregs of the internet to find previous clips from each of the film's stars in an attempt to hold you over, and, thanks to the hard-hitting investigative journalism of Mr. Reilly over at BeachGrit, it's even assembled in the correct order as the final movie.
So watch the Cluster trailer below, and then journey down memory lane with each of its stars to get your fix until the real deal is ready.
Volcom's goofy footer has been charging Mr. Neville's films since the ModCol days. From tubes to turns to lofty punts, Coleborn's game is solid, even if he hasn't quite found the QS success he's chased. His video parts speak for themselves, including this one, skewed/produced by the twisted mind of Ozzie Wright.
Move over, Jordy, there's a new South African gunning for the spotlight. Brendon Gibbens bats second in this movie, after a strong showing in last year's Strange Rumblings performance put him firmly on the map in the freesurf world.
While there's always a seeming above-the-lip focus to Kai's films, Conner Coffin's rail work is really what sets him apart from most of his peers. Raised at Rincon, and groomed by Gerlach, the kid knows how to throw more spray than your entire local break combined.
Most of what I've seen of Dillon Perillo, the Malibu local sponsored by Rip Curl, is from his appearances in Float and one of Neville's previous outings, Lost Atlas. I also bought one of his signature tail pads and the kick was so damn high it constantly came unglued from the board and flapped around. True story.
Dion might currently be more infamous for his recent Surfer Poll appearance, but the man did more to make freesurfing a career than many others before him. Globe took a gamble on him years ago, and globe.tv/dion launched a thousand surfers towards the internet as a means to make ends. The clip below, "Electric Blue Heaven," is an oldie but a goodie, filmed by Globe's resident lensman Joe G, and set in an Abu Dhabi wave pool amongst a bevy of beauties.
You might know/hate Jack Freestone for being Alana Blanchard's beau, but the kid is much more than that. QS warrior and one of Billabong's hopes for the future, rumors are circulating that Freestone's part is one of the standouts in Cluster. You'll have to watch this old clip below to acquaint yourself with his work, and then wait and see.
The man everyone thought would pull off the 540 first until King Kelly did it for him, Chippa's air game is ridiculous. Spins, varials, flips, you name it, and the kid can huck himself in the air and rotate as requested. Plus his Instagram implies he's into motorcycles and old trucks, so he's clearly got a good head on his shoulders.
Tailpads? Creed don't need no damn tailpads. This is 10 minutes of pure wave destruction, brought to you by a man alternately loved and hated by surfing's admirers. Creed's the poster child for the freesurfing partiers that seem to dominate surf media these days, and it generates as much vehement hatred as he does admiration for his skills in the water. Personally, I couldn't give a shit about anything else as long as he drops edits like this.
Ryan CallinanAnother Billabong crew member in the cast, Callinan rounds out the young, Australian contingent in the movie with another dose of progressive surfing.
What can you say about Dane that hasn't already been said? Since he finished work on Slow Dance and Loaded in late 2013/2014, Dane's maintained that he was focused on hoarding clips for this film. Word on the street is that his part is eclipsed by only one other in the cast...
With a knee dropped as low as can be, Ando's the current style master, heir to Machado for the title "Grooviest Hair in Surfing." I really like this clip, pulled from the old Quiksilver "Moments" video (which, if you haven't seen, is worth a watch when you're done here.
The anchor, and apparently totally worth waiting to see. Noa's gotten himself into some pseudo-trouble recently for speaking his mind, but the fact remains that the kid drops fucking hammers. He's the closest thing to a little Dane, built for big turns and big airs. If he's gotten his youthful drink-til-you-can't-feel-feelings days out of the way, he's going to be killing it for years to come.