From the hallowed shores and notoriously hollow waves of the Banzai Pipeline in the mid-1970’s, comes the most important surfing documentary film of our time – ‘Bustin Down the Door’, which premieres at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on January 27th at 7:00pm, at the Arlington Theater in Santa Barbara.
Framed around the emerging careers of surfing’s earliest World Champions Peter Townend (1976), Shaun Tomson (1977), Wayne Bartholomew (1978) and Mark Richards (1979- 82), this epic documentary chronicles a tumultuous two-year period of competitive and cultural clashes in surfing’s Mecca – Hawaii’s North Shore – as a small crew of Australians and South Africans set out with attitude and determination to change the world of surfing.
‘Bustin’ Down the Door’ documents how these young men risked everything to become the best surfers in the world, and how their courage and vision began a cultural revolution, that led to the birth of professional surfing and ultimately what has become today’s billion-dollar surf industry.
Inspired by the article ‘Bustin Down the Door’ written by Bartholomew and published in Surfer Magazine in 1976, the film delivers a well-executed mix of epic wave riding and emotional behind-the-scenes stories that illustrate how the sport of surfing was changed forever.
The film features narration by Academy Award Nominee Edward Norton and a period soundtrack that includes The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Queen, Leonard Cohen and others.
The film was directed by Jeremy Gosch, and was produced by Monika Gosch, Robert Trail and Shaun Tomson; this is Gosch’s first documentary film. Bustin’ was filmed on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii in December 2006 (during the Triple Crown of Surfing). The film features archival surf footage from 1970’s films including Free Ride, Many Classic Moments, Five Summer Stories, Tubular Swells and more. Among the many notable surfing legends and pros that were interviewed in the film were Ian Cairns, Peter Townend, Michael Tomson, Tom Curren, Kelly Slater, Rob Machado and many others.
Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew
Australian Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew burst onto the international scene in the winter of 1975. Professional surfing was still a dream back then, but Bartholomew had the vision and the attitude to make it a reality. His tactics, confidence and flair made him a top-rate competitor for professionalism’s first decade and his article “Bustin’ Down the Door” published in Surfer Magazine in 1976 is the inspiration for the film. He was crowned world champion in 1978, remained in the top five for seven consecutive years and came within a whisker of regaining the title in 1983. In 1999, Rabbit took over the reins of the Association of Surfing Professionals, surfing’s governing body and moved the corporate offices to Australia, to the beach where he first dreamed of becoming a pro surfer. He remains an avid tube rider and still surfs with a youthful enthusiasm. He travels the world ensuring that his dream of pro surfing remains alive and well for an entire new generation of young surfers.
In the groundbreaking winter of 1975, Australian Mark Richards redefined the limits of performance surfing on the North Shore of Hawaii. The rise of pro surfing coincided with that of Richards’ career. In 1976, he won the richest event on the fledgling IPS professional tour, the Coke Surfabout in Sydney. Building on the influences of shaping legends Reno Abellira, Dick Brewer and Spider Murphy, Richards began shaping his own boards in 1976. He developed a revolutionary, short, winged swallow twin-fin design perfectly suited to his loose, angular style. At 6’0″, his swooping turns earned him the nickname “The Wounded Gull.” By 1979, with the twin-fin perfected, Richards won the World Title and for four consecutive years dominated the world tour, winning in every type of surf. Today, Richards lives in Newcastle with his wife and three children. He runs his family’s surf shop and is considered one of the world’s best and most innovative surfboard shapers.
As a competitor, Tomson’s consistency and longevity marked one of the most prolific careers in professional surfing. He became South Africa’s most successful surfer, winning the country’s largest event, the Gunston 500, six times in succession and winning the World title in 1977. His popularity was immense, garnering him top honors at the 1978 Surfer Poll and successful business ventures with Instinct Apparel and Solitude Clothing. He has been called the greatest tube rider of all time, was listed as one of the 25 most influential surfers of the century (Surfer 1999) and one of the 16 greatest surfers of all time (Surfing, 2004). Tomson is currently chairman of the Surfrider Foundation’s Advisory Board and received the Environmentalist of the Year Award (SIMA 2003). He is the recent author of the best selling surfing and inspirational book “Surfer’s Code – 12 Simple lessons for riding through life.”
Get the full low-down on the movie on the ‘Bustin’ Down the Door’ website.