Hometowns leave lasting impacts. I grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina and stuck around for undergrad at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. It’s one of the rare, non-commercialized beach towns left, all just ten minutes away from a reputable university on the East Coast. Over 22 different surf shops call the greater area home. Some describe the Southeastern surf hub as a mini California, due to its growing surf population and incredible talent pool. Surf City, Wrightsville, Folly, and Carolina Beaches are authentic surfing towns that encapsulate the region.
Many of these places feature waves that allow for only one-and-done maneuvers. In other words, you may only have one chance to throw a turn your entire session, teaching local surfers to read waves impeccably. We binge on glassy conditions, chase swells, and surf what outsiders would otherwise scoff at. Deeper documents Southeastern surf stories that all about community.
It shares stories of women in surfing and traditional longboarding. Once you understand and care, you can’t help but take action for the communities and what sustains them. I handpicked groms, searched the ESA districts, contests, and surf shops for voices that encompass these communities. We scheduled surf sessions, prayed for waves, showed up at first light for free parking, the best lighting, and shot until the batteries were gone.
Authenticity stood out. That’s what I’m drawn to. It’s what we can all relate to, right? I didn’t want to show some prefabricated mimic of what other people were doing. I wanted to keep things as natural and authentic as possible. Meanwhile, the world could hand over a million reasons to stop. Late nights editing after the inland corporate job, too many camera mishaps, drone crashes, Lake Atlantic in all its glory. But setbacks drive determination and challenges are worth the effort. You end up surpassing comforts, fears, and the limits of what you believed possible. The ultimate idea is that people will see it, be encouraged, and take action for causes within their own surf communities.
I’m still learning as I go. I had never seen so much water in slow motion as I did before the editing process of this film began. But I wouldn’t change a single moment as it has taught me patience. It’s intimidating to put all this energy and effort into something that someone will become a critic of. So I remind myself to always listen and improve. Too many people shy away from suggestions and it’s really a pride issue deep down. When you step out of fear and into the process of documenting surf community everything changes. The smiles are worth it. The footage is surreal. The impact one can make is greater than anything I could have ever imagined.