The September Sessions – a film by Jack Johnson

“The waves were as good as waves get.”

As I’d expect from The Moonshine Conspiracy (turned Woodshed Films), The September Sessions is rife with great waves and great surfing. The premise is that Kelly Slater, Rob Machado and friends take a break from the competitive surfing circuit and travel to Sumatra just to surf. No competitions, no judges, no points – just surfing with friends.

What makes this film brilliant is that I can see myself there.  I done this.  Granted, I’ve never surfed Indo or Sumatra.  I’ll never surf half as good as the dudes in the movie.  And I’ve never been in barrel like the ones shown here.  But, I have been on surf trips with friends were the waves were good and we were hooting and hollering and egging each other on.  That camaraderie is really what comes through and sets this film apart.  It is one of the few times while watching this crop of surfers that I’ve felt like I was on par with them.  Again, I would surf nowhere near as well as they, but I could have easily had just as much fun. Egos and vanity are set aside and the result is that you remember why you surf.

The worst part about The September Sessions is that it is so short.  At less than 40 minutes, it leaves the viewing with a sense of, “HEY!  I was watching that!” when it ends.  The dollar concious shopper will be happy to know that the movie does come with a sweet soundtrack CD from the film including tracks by Jack Johnson, G. Love, Ozomatli and so on.

Definitely pick up a copy from



  1. OranjaBoom on 29 June 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Man! I haven’t seen this in an age. But what’s so great is that, although it’s crazy how young the crew was back then, the film maintaints that timeless stoke. A bit nostalgic, yes, but very present – ie. i just wanna get on some waves right now!

  2. Jeff on 29 June 2009 at 3:58 pm

    It’s always weird now when you see Slater with hair and Machado with only a modest ‘fro. I think Machado is becoming the mystic guru of surfing. (I fully endorse this.)

  3. DR on 13 July 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Go check out “Bustin’ Down the Door.” Really gives a good lok at the Hawaiian surf scene and how the Pro Tour evolved.

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