|No other sport is so intrinsically linked to nature. Some call it a spiritual experience, most call it indescribable. And yet, in becoming the multi-billion dollar industry it is today, a great paradox has risen. Surfers are indeed directly connected to the earth's pulse and yet a majority of the materials used are environmentally toxic.
The story begins in the 1960's, the golden era of surfing, a time of innocence and discovery. Surf culture erupted onto the collective consciousness and became the epitome of cool. Fast forward to December 5th, 2005 and the closing of Clark Foam for environmental reasons, the largest surf blanks manufacturer in the world. Not only was the event a wake-up call for many to shift from petroleum-base products to more eco-friendly materials, it also reframed the foundation of a stagnant culture.
Enter surfng's renaissance, an era where the new generation is completely changing what it means to be a surfer. And amid timid efforts from the industry's biggies, a plethora of grassroots up-and-comers is redefning what a surfer is supposed to ride. From wooden surfboards, handplanes and alaias to recycled blanks and organic clothing, wave riding is taking on a new soul. Taking California as its focal point, the birth place of the surf industry, the film travels from San Diego to San Francisco, via San Clemente, to capture the diversity of the Californian coast, while interviewing an amazing variety of people in their respective environments. Let it be a shaping room, an offce, a beach, a blank factory, an art gallery, or a wood shop, you will be transported to a world rarely-ever-seen.
Framed through the eyes of the youth, the documentary features for the very first time three up-and-coming surfers: Lucas Dirkse, 16, Niko Traubman 14, and Tiare Thompson, 9. From riding the unconventional and bodysurfing, to bringing back the stoke, they are now dictating what the industry will become.
Also featured are icons of the industry, including John Baker Dahl and Carl Ekstrom. From the invention of surf wax to those who created the modern board, these individuals have shaped the surfing world for the last 50 years and they now share their invaluable insights on the evolution of the industry.
Manufacturing Stoke is an introspective look into the surfing culture's struggle to be beneficial unto itself, a tapestry of both influential and eclectic members of the surfing community that are constantly striving for positive change.