|Ocean Fever is a lighthearted and fun-filled look at surfing and its entrance into Professionalism. Pro surfing really took hold in California beginning in 1980. The film highlights Oahu, Maui, Mexico and California. Of Soderberg's 3 major films Ocean Fever was the zaniest and happiest. Inspired by Bud Brownes excellent work in "Goin' Surfing," It was the first film to introduce the Island of Todos Santos (9 miles off of Ensenada Mexico) with 3 four day trips showing the dynamic surfing of Jeff Parker, Bud Llamas, David Barr and other Californians culminating in the winter of 82-83 with the largest waves I have ever seen on the West Coast.
North Shore Hawaii surfing is featured from 1976 thru 1983 with Outstanding Buttons Kaluhiokalani, Mark Lydell, Shaun Tomson, Dane Kealoha, Bobby Owens, Mark Richards, Cheyne Horan, Tom Carroll, and Tom Curren.
Honalua Bay on Maui features Buttons Kaluhiokalani and Mark Lydell shredding on Ben Aipa Stingers and Buttons yellow rounded pin single fin.
Like all of Steve Soderberg's films, Ocean Fever is a well-diversified film with a central theme and a message, not a wave after wave after wave after wave "surf video". It features both casual and in depth interviews of early pro, Mike Purpus, Shaun Tomson, Mark Richards, and Hilarious Buttons Kaluhiokalani and Mark Lydell. The Pipe Masters footage, being the most entertaining to watch of all surfing contests, shows to what lengths surfers would go to establish themselves as mastering Hawaiian waters. Many Pros would only surf Pipeline during this contest only. The wipeouts shown are not all without consequence.
When Ocean Fever was released in 1983 Surf Films were a major event and were shown in theaters with the films lasting at least 90 minutes. They needed to be entertaining. And that was Soderberg's goal. Designed to show the surfing beach life, Soderberg spent years both shooting the footage, and putting each film together, and it shows in the tightly edited to music and narrated results. His films were designed to entertain and make everyone in the audience, after viewing the film, feel very proud to be a surfer as they walked up the aisle and out of the theater.
"Humor, Action, and Soul seamlessly edited"-Surfer Magazine.