'Spoons': Review and tour dates

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

“What makes a surf culture? It really depends on the waves, and the surfers, and the boards that they ride.” - Marc Andreini

Spoons is the new film by Wyatt Daily. A film that, while only an hour long, manages to cover a lot of ground, tracing design evolution across the decades and across the globe.

At its heart, Spoons is an ode to Santa Barbara, a proud tale of homespun design that begins with Renny Yater and George Greenough, who advanced surf designs with a common goal to surf Rincon deeper and faster.

The spoon was what they came up with and together they created two of the most famous designs in history: the Yater Spoon, the design ridden by Colonel Kilgore in Apocalypse Now (“Bring me my Yater Spoon! The 8’6”!), and Greenough’s Velo.

Same name, similar principals, radically different shapes - Yater’s was a longboard, Greenough’s a 4’8” flexible kneeboard - yet each achieved its stated purpose. Yater could match Rincon’s trim speed, while Greenough could break trim, surf up and down the wave.

The story of Spoons might end there, might be of no interest to people outside Santa Babs, except that by the time Greenough was making Velo, he was also splitting his time in Australia. In 1965, when Yater and Greenough were making those displacement hull Spoons, the US and Oz were very different surf cultures. 

“We were really locked onto the longboard era,“ says Marc Andreini, however Australian surf culture was younger, not weighed down with any particular design, it was just beginning to fizz and pop when Greenough lobbed on our shores, bumped into Bob McTavish and Nat Young, and sparked a revolution.

As an aside, Spoons is a history doco that, perhaps inadvertently, carries a poignant message. That being, don’t get bogged down by history.

Bob and Nat followed George’s lead, except they began crafting boards to ride Noosa and the NSW north coast pointbreaks. Our early surf culture owed its form to those waves.

Students of surf history know how the rest of it goes, the story of the Shortboard Revolution has been told innumerable times, but Spoons is more particular in its storytelling. It’s a story of place as much as it’s about people.

There’s also no statute of limitations, Yater’s Spoon runs a direct ancestral line to Merrick’s Tri Plane Hull and Tommy Curren’s success. The story spans the modern surfing age. It’s also told by means of little seen archival footage of classic Rincon, Hollister Ranch, and Noosa, plus surfing from all of the aforementioned names and more.

'Spoons' Australian tour dates:

BONDI
Bondi Bowling Club
Friday Feb 21
Doors at 5:30pm film @7pm
Party with the Filmmakers after!
Tickets: $10 (cash) at the door or spoonsfilm.com/bondi/bowlingclub

CALOUNDRA 
Sunshine Coast Surf Film Festival
Monday February 24th Drinks 6pm, Film @ 7pm
Q&A After the Show
Bigscreen Cinemas Caloundra  
Tickets: scsff.com.au

NOOSA
Noosa Festival of Surfing
Wednesday February 26th, 2020 @ 7pm
Special Guest Panel
The J Theatre - 60 Noosa Dr - Noosa Heads QLD
Tickets: thej.com.au

BURLEIGH HEADS
Rhythm Surf Shop
Friday February 28th, 2020
5pm Music & Drinks
6pm Film Starts
2/12 James St - Burleigh Heads QLD
Free Beer / Free Entry

Comments

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 21 Feb 2020 at 10:32am

Addendum. Impressive list of movies the "little seen" footage is taken from:

Crystal Voyager
Echoes
Innermost Limits of Pure Fun
Free Ride
Evolution
The Endless Summer
The Endless Summer Revisited
Apocalypse Now
Children of the Sun
High on a Cool Wave
Ride a White Horse
Cool Wave of Color
Free and Easy
Walk on the Wetside
The Search
Fantastic Plastic Machine
In Search for Surf
John Larronde’s Sweet Sixteen
And many more...

freerider.'s picture
freerider.'s picture
freerider. commented Saturday, 22 Feb 2020 at 7:41am

cool

stanfrance's picture
stanfrance's picture
stanfrance commented Friday, 21 Feb 2020 at 10:42am

Bring it to SA you mongrels..

Stan France

JimmyMac's picture
JimmyMac's picture
JimmyMac commented Friday, 21 Feb 2020 at 10:51am

I'm with you @Stanfrance, but it is on vimeo.

stanfrance's picture
stanfrance's picture
stanfrance commented Friday, 21 Feb 2020 at 12:12pm

There you go JimmyMac, thanks for the heads up!

Stan France

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Friday, 21 Feb 2020 at 4:04pm

Vimeo doesn’t have free beer .....unlike the Burleigh screening .

teanorris's picture
teanorris's picture
teanorris commented Sunday, 23 Feb 2020 at 7:31am

If the beer is 4x then I don’t really care...

chook's picture
chook's picture
chook commented Friday, 21 Feb 2020 at 3:00pm

Excellent, it’s screening tonight in Bondi, and you can just hop the fence at the bowlo. But I can find the cash for this one.
It was seeing greenough on his spoon that got me into surfing. Just in case anyone is looking for someone to blame.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 21 Feb 2020 at 4:23pm

Worth mentioning....there's an interview with Tom Curren, it's one of the better parts of the film, and one of the more lucid interviews Tom's ever given, where he talks about his skimboard designs and what he's trying to achieve with it. Tom sits easily alongside other eccentric designers, quite comfortable operating out on the fringes where the mainstream haven't the foggiest what's going through their heads.

Puts the whole skimboard thing into some sort of perspective.

Toppa's picture
Toppa's picture
Toppa commented Friday, 21 Feb 2020 at 4:29pm

Greenough, Peter Crawford PC, Neil Luke and Steve Artis all great surfers in their own right and inspiration to kneeboarders right across the country. All inspired me in different ways to join the kneelo fraternity in the ‘70s. George with his
movies, PC with his photography, kneelos
regularly appeared in the surf mags of that time.
Steve Artis and Neil Luke outstanding surfers and shapers. Still surf Neil’s boards today.

Toppa

freerider.'s picture
freerider.'s picture
freerider. commented Friday, 21 Feb 2020 at 5:56pm

"Velo"----abreviation--"Velocity" .......

MartinNow's picture
MartinNow's picture
MartinNow commented Saturday, 22 Feb 2020 at 9:03am

My older brother rode a paipo at Queenscliffe and a paipo / spoon inspired "Ford" at Sandon etc.

Then I saw Crystal Voyager at Opera House - was a Greenough and Floyd tragic for many years after.

Hollowed the deck out out of a coolite and knee rode Cronulla Point

Then PC slabs all over the south coast.

A Conneelly hull flextail for a while.

Then Artis Earthrise wing pin kneelo - great at Sailors Grave, Husky.

Then Outer Island inspired kneelos and standers on north coast.

Then Outer Island standers for about 20 years

Now I'm a confused older man on a Greedy Beaver whose rounded nose reminds me of some of my former shapes and tempts me to knee ride some barrel take offs before popping up on the face.

But I blame it all on my older brother, Michael, and Greenough - full noses, flex, raked fish fins and convex / concave combos.

MartinNow

Toppa's picture
Toppa's picture
Toppa commented Saturday, 22 Feb 2020 at 1:46pm

Hi Martinnow I still have my Earthrise kneelo sounds same as yours purchased in 1979 took my surfing to the next level at that time, just a museum piece these days, the artwork on those boards was amazing.

Toppa

chook's picture
chook's picture
chook commented Saturday, 22 Feb 2020 at 2:39pm

It was a fun evening at the bondi bowlo last night. I haven’t been out to see a surf film in a long, long time. The film makers looked like they were enjoying the laid back, old bowlo vibe. Some great footage. They did a lot of research.

MartinNow's picture
MartinNow's picture
MartinNow commented Saturday, 22 Feb 2020 at 5:34pm

Hi Toppa

My Earthrise was also a big move in my surfing - from sliding and spinning to hard driving. I wish I held onto all my old boards. I only have kept one pure kneelo - an Outer Island inspired board by a back o' Ballina shaper named Glenn Jenkins (RIP). A 6' thruster I took to Indo in 1990. Surfed 6-8' Scars Reef and Grajagan. Still the best trip of my life. So far.

MartinNow

MRsinglefin's picture
MRsinglefin's picture
MRsinglefin commented Monday, 24 Feb 2020 at 7:57am

Bring it to Newcastle

surfing with a spoon's picture
surfing with a spoon's picture
surfing with a spoon commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 4:29am

Man on the moon, and surfer in the tube.
Human milestones of the era.
Would love to see this on the Surf Coast.
Easter perhaps?

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 at 7:23pm

It is the self-proclaimed home of Australian surfing, after all.....

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 at 7:22pm

Bondi to Noosa ain't no Australian tour, just a Sunday drive.

Go south....please!

KARIO's picture
KARIO's picture
KARIO commented Thursday, 27 Feb 2020 at 12:03pm

Yes, would be good to have a couple of projections down in Melbourne and Surf Coast ?
Anyone would know why it is limited to NSW/Noosa ?
Would think a LOT of people would go and see this on a proper screen.
I would.

innatube's picture
innatube's picture
innatube commented Thursday, 27 Feb 2020 at 2:33pm

It features Santa Barbara mainly in the film and a bit of Noosa and a bit of the NSW north coast. A couple of the early Santa Barbara crew moved to Noosa so I'm guessing that's why it's showing where it is. They had a great Q & A after the film at Noosa with Mike Davis , Bob Cooper's son (whose name escapes me sorry), Phil Jarratt, Tom Wegener ,and the film makers.

chook's picture
chook's picture
chook commented Thursday, 27 Feb 2020 at 4:13pm

any spoon riders around here? i've never even seen one in the water, kneelo spoon that is. i supsect "surfing with a spoon" might be.
i guess every kneelo dreams of owning one. but bugger paying $2k+ for a board that i'm pretty sure I would struggle to catch any waves with.

chook's picture
chook's picture
chook commented Thursday, 27 Feb 2020 at 4:16pm

if you want the film to play where you are...book a venue, send the guys petrol money and sort out a place for them to stay. this is DIY territory.