The Offspring is belting out a raucous, if-restrained, acoustic rendition of “Self Esteem” at a classy oceanfront establishment called Bungalow in Santa Monica. Kelly Slater, bobbing his head in the front, joins in on the chorus. Rob Machado, stage left, sings along with Timmy Curran. Taylor Steele, Kalani Robb, and Sal Masekela, at a table to the left, are shouting it out, too. Noodles caps the performance off by smashing his ukulele to bits on a barstool. Wooden debris hits Kelly in the face.
It’s not 1995. But, man, it sure feels like it. And it feels good.
Like we all just got dropped into a time machine where all the 30-something surfers on this planet came of age and got to check in and reflect on what changed in and beyond surfing in the twenty plus years that have passed. As such, the nine fellas who comprise the Momentum Generation posse all showed up for the red carpet premiere of their HBO film, and the sentiment inevitably turned nostalgic.
“I think it’s a real film on what happens over thirty years with friends,” Taylor Steele told The Inertia. “Some of it’s light. Some of it’s heavier and more serious, and that’s what happens with friends over a long time. We’re proud of it–that the guys made a real movie about that feels like our story.”
“There were things in there that everyone can relate to,” Kelly Slater told us. “It’s about a surf group, but it’s not just a surf film.”
Machado, Shane Dorian, Benji Weatherly, Taylor Knox, Ross Williams, Pat O’Connell, Kelly Slater, Kalani Robb, and Taylor Steele each had their own thoughts on what amounts to a group self-portrait and a close examination at the death of their mentor and moral compass, Todd Chesser.
There were somber moments, but mostly joy in reflecting on the passage of time. Momentum Generation, produced by Robert Redford and Machado’s longtime-manager Justine Chiara and directed by the award-winning Zimbalist Brothers, premieres on HBO December 11th at 10 PM. A full review to come, but for now, enjoy these fellas dressed to the nines, yuckin’ it up. The spirit of the ’90s is alive and well.