Starting your own company’s all the rage (sigh) in surfing at the moment.
Skaters have been doing it for years, and the list of rider-owned co’s in the surf world swell each year—Dion Agius, pro surfing’s shrewdest entrepreneur, seems to be present in 95% of them. None capture the zeitgeist quite like Noa Deane, Ellis Ericson, Creed McTaggart, Beau Forster and Toby Creagan’s enterprise Rage, however. Their new film Rage 2, released today, is everything that’s right about contemporary surf culture.
Rage make grips, a leggie, and hoods. Simple. But this isn’t about gear. This is about cultural capital and not over-polishing the beautifully shining turd that is Australian surf culture. There’s no scantily clad, Parisien models blowing plumes of cigarette smoke into vintage Super 8 film. Instead, there’s a bunch of mates drinking tins, smoking joints, fucking around, and surfing their brains out.
The surf industry’s on its knees because it lost sight of what made it great in the first place. While a bunch of dirt-bags doing laps of the coast eating pies, making a mockery of free-of-charge surfboards with heinous scribbles (Shaun Manners’ “Kusso” being a personal favourite) might seem inconsequential, it’s actually the modern manifestation of surfing’s counter-cultural roots. Sure, the boys (apart from, as of recently, Beau) earn their crust from the “mainstream”, but you can’t blame them for taking a paycheck. You can applaud them, however, for putting time and energy into something that’s a tangible representation of young, disillusioned surfers up and down the coast.
In the surfing department, it’s not exactly CT polish, but you wouldn’t want it to be. Each of the gang bring their own charm to Rage, and some takeaways from Rage 2 include, but are not limited to: Noa’s damn impossible to take your eyes off for his moments of explosive brilliance/the fear that he’s going to hurt himself, Creed’s still got it, Shaun Manners is really good (who knew?), Beau Foster is a chronically underrated style-master, and Ellis Ericson’s tube at the 16-minute mark on an unorthodox vessel is positively ludicrous.
Special mention, as always, has to go to the brains behind the operation/man behind the lens, Toby Creagan. Tobes is unparalleled in the surf world when it comes to the no-frills pairing of narrative, music and surfing, and Rage 2 is no exception. While it’s unlikely to win an award at the Surfer Poll (ha!), it’s 100% guaranteed to give you the urge to load up the wagon with a few pals and go hunting. Can’t say fairer than that.