Senior Editor

The Inertia

There’s an argument in surfing that’s been around for a while now: is surfing a sport or an art form? Whatever your stance, it’s likely — and this is a rare thing in an argument — that you can see both sides. Morgan Maassen, a filmmaker par excellence, has picked a side, but like most things in surfing, the line in the sand is a little murky. “My longstanding attraction to surfing has always been through the elegance of style,” he writes. “Watching the way someone can navigate a wave, connecting moves, making every motion look effortless… it’s why I see this sport more akin to an art form.”

There are a few surfers who dance that the line between art and sport with ease and Jordy Smith is one of them. He’s powerfully graceful. “While there are many surfers I admire for their style in the water,” Maassen continued, “Jordy Smith has distinguished himself on a level above all else.”

Last year, Maassen and Smith hopped from Hawaii to South Africa to Indonesia to make the film you see above, simply titled Jordy. “I witnessed Jordy push his surfing to another level, as he paired his talent with his insane personal drive,” Maassen remembered. “Being courtside to him surfing, whether sweating on the shores of a jungle atoll or dodging white sharks swimming with my waterhousing… it was like running with the bulls, witnessing a display of raw power and energy only so few have ever achieved athletically.”



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