Chasing Dora

Chasing Dora was a movie of the week on The Surf Network a while back.  As always, I see most surf movies as “well, that’s worth $7 to see.”  Sometimes that turns out to be true, sometimes not.  This time, it totally was.  While Chasing Dora is not the kind of surf film that you’ll watch repeatedly, the premise is a sweet idea and totally intriguing.

Mickey Dora, if you don’t know, was the rogue prince of surfing.  He often railed against the commercialization of surfing and the whole premise of surf competition (being that it is so subjective and polluted with…commercialism).  So, Dora devised a surf competition designed to “save the lost soul of surfing.”  A competition where the competitor had to completely rely on one’s self, and there was no disputing the victor.  Here are the rules:

  1. The competition is to be held at Jeffrey’s Bay, one of the longest and fastest waves on Earth.
  2. The event must be held in 8’+ surf
  3. No sponsors allowed, no stickers, no logos, no leashes
  4. Riders must wear all natural fibers (i.e. no wetsuits!)
  5. Board must be built by the rider
    1. Board must be built from all-natural materials
    2. Board length must not exceed 9’6″
    3. Board must have a square 10″ tail block
    4. Single fin only
  6. Winner is determined by the rider who goes the longest distance in a single ride (from a predetermined starting point)

The whole idea of the competition seems ludicrous at best.  JBay is hard enough to surf with everything in your favor, but on a log with no wetsuit and no leash?  Madness!  But three guys take up the challenge: Wingnut, Mickey Munoz and Marc Andreini.  In the end they do make a few concessions to the rules, but the spirit is there.  It’s super interesting to watch the contest unfold, all the while various surfers discussing the idea of the competition and the mystery that is Dora.

A super fun and compelling watch.

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