History of Hanging Ten

Miami's Surf Past Comes Alive in a Series of Silent Archive Films at The Webster

“We have such a strong surf culture, even though we don’t have a bounty of waves,” Michael Laas, of Miami’s Surfrider Foundation, says of his hometown. This relatively unknown community is the star of the new pop-up shop Surf the Webster, currently housed in Miami’s The Webster boutique. On hand alongside espadrilles and hand-carved longboards is Surfrider Foundation-sourced footage that spans the city's surf scene from the 1950s to the present, played on continuous loop. The films comprise a wide range of archive material collected from former greats of the Miami surf scene, some 8mm segments of which sent Laas off a scavenger hunt for old projectors so they could be digitized. In many cases, film had been passed through so many hands that its origins are unclear, but the blissed-out seascapes, suffused with colorful nostalgia nevertheless speak for themselves, and offer an enchanting documentation of the evolving visual style of surf culture.  “In the 40s and 50s surfing was very spartan; you weren’t only a surfer, you were a sailor and a spear fisher," says Laas. "There was no fashion; you wore trunks and that was it.” Fast forward to the 80s and the sport was all about "large, bright boards, neon colored wetsuits and aggressive surfing."  Come fall, the Surfrider Foundation will bring these films to The Standard Miami for screenings in conjunction with the city’s surf season (swells pick up as summer comes to a close). Once a month for five months the hotel will showcase a different decade of Miami’s surf history, along with a corresponding surf-themed narrative film and appearances by prominent riders from Miami’s dynamic past.
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