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The home of 1960s surfing culture in Australia
 

In Natural Flow - Surf Film 1971 - DVD

This film is so under-rated and that is why we stock it. You can click and watch the trailer In Natural Flow but we do not think it accurately reflects how good this film is.

We wrote the below words, as our own personal perspective on this fantastic film. 

 

In Natural Flow (1971 by Steve Core) is one of the real classics in Australian surfing films, yet so unheralded by the modern era… it is a crying shame this film is not more recognised and worshipped for the pivotal document it is. There is nothing like it.

Stating in the opening scenes that the film documents a ‘changing of the guard’, I prefer to think of it as the end of an era…the very era we all love so much, surfing pre-legropes. In Natural Flow doesn’t have any longboarding, it is all shortboarding but the truly beautiful shortboarding, where the surfers are in harmony with the waves – they have to be, they don’t have a leash on.  No leashes, boards made by surfers, camping out on Lennox Head for a week, the film is mostly shot on a 230MM lens [230mm Century Lens] that Steve Core bought from Jack Eden…a lens that was used by Bruce Brown himself, while shooting The Endless Summer.

This is where it is at folks…the most fluid and harmonic shortboard surfing you will ever see right here In Natural Flow 1971. Think a bit deeper and two years earlier (1969), surfers were riding weird and wonderful mid lengths and pushing through the ‘shortboard revolution’….here we are, In Natural Flow 1971 and the best surfer/shapers on the planet are in fine form, particularly Michael Peterson, Peter Drouyn, Peter Townend, Frank Latta, Col Smith, Simon Anderson and Terry Fitzgerald. Remember, these surfers were all shaping their boards and refining their equipment/fins and style….again, the end of an era. The end of ‘the era’, ‘the golden era’, ‘the golden age’, whatever you want to call it. In Natural Flow also showcases old Kirra, gaping freight train tubes ridden by the locals who put it on the map.

Look at the George Greenough cult classic film ‘The Inner Most Limits Of Pure Fun’ 1969-1970, the surfboard experiments are still funky, they are still on the cusp of ‘working it out’…by the time Steve Core shot ‘In Natural Flow’ a couple of years later, it is worked out, the boards are trimming and shredding beautifully, pre legrope. By 1974 the legrope is mainstream and surfing changed big time…harmony with the wave was no longer imperative.

What Steve Core has shot here is a very narrow window of time, the opportunity as fleeting as trying to photograph a rainbow. Steve Core not only shot it, but he shot it with the very best surfers of the era. Incredible Drouyn footage, Michael Peterson as good as you could hope for and plenty of it. Shot really nice and pulled in with Century Lens you really get an idea of the boards they were riding. Michael Peterson shines, as does Drouyn (there is so little footage of him in other films), Peter Townend is blonde as a bottle of bleach and styling as he does….Frank Latta, again very little footage of him, but he truly was a beautiful surfer (r.i.p). Simon Anderson and Terry Fitz going a hundred miles and hour on single fins.

This film is just beautiful. It opens with a killer blues track from Mike Bloomfield’s ‘Super Sessions’ album, guitar virtuosity featuring Stephen Stills, Columbia Records 1968.  The opening scene runs for ten minutes and showcases the ‘changing of the guard’ with a contrast of ‘old styles’ of Nat, Ted, Baddy, Keith Paull, Frank Latta and Drouyn with the ‘new breed’ of (naturally) Michael Peterson, Peter Townend, Terry Fitz, Simon and Mark Warren. The opening scene works nicely, the soundtrack is killer and leads into the second movement, Bells Beach contest surfing, the final, with an accompanying soundtrack that really does bring it all back to 1972 the folk/soul and harmonies akin to Morning Of The Earth soundtrack.

When I think of the best surfing films out of Australia in the ‘golden era’ of surfing, I immediately think of Albe Falzon’s Morning Of The Earth (1973) and Paul Witzig’s Hot Generation (1967)…but then you have to include the other Paul Witzig films (Evolution & Sea Of Joy) and of course the dozen films by Bob Evans, of which Ride A White Horse is available and is a testament to that kooky 60s era, longboarding and adventure. Ironically, Australian surfing doesn’t really care much for longboarding and the 60s, Australia wanted change, they wanted performance surfing on shortboards. Steve Cores ‘In Natural Flow’ (1971) is exactly what every Australian surfer wants to see and upon watching it, is instantly in my top 5 Australian surfing films, a must have/view for anyone who is interested in that beautiful era of pre-legrope shortboard surfing.

 

 




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