What “Loaded” Gets Right

Answer: Everything

| posted on February 04, 2014

Dane Reynolds’ Loaded is magnificent, and rights all sorts of wrongs from Slow Dance, Dane’s last movie. If you can still catch it on MLP’s website, do it, if not, buy it in whatever form the film takes when it’s made available. Loaded is what surf movies should be and what they largely used to be, a refreshing change from the overly-wrought art house pieces we’ve come to expect from top-flight surf filmmakers over the last decade or so. It gets everything right. Let this list of things you should know about Loaded convince you:

1) It’s blessed with a wonderful cast of surfers. Dane, obviously, but also Taylor Knox (!), Andrew Doheny, Nat Young, Craig Anderson, and Noa Deane. Dane and T. Knox are the stars, as they should be in every surf movie for the rest of time.

2) It starts with Taylor Knox. This was a great idea. His rail work sets the foundation for the entire 23-minute film, and gets you amped right from the get-go.

3) Great, great music. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d hear Radiohead’s “Fitter Happier” computer-voiced narrator laid over a surf segment, but it works, without being morose or navel-gazing. Probably because it’s sandwiched between tracks from Black Flag, Alex Chilton, and loopy electronica.

4) Real-time footage. 99 percent of the shots are in regular-life speed, with maybe two waves in slo-mo. Thank you Dane.

5) The surfing, with the exception of the last segment at Cloudbreak, is in good waves, but they’re also normal waves. The kinds of waves you’ve probably surfed this winter a few times. Indo is great and all, but Christ it’s boring. I want to watch surfing I can relate to, and that counts out boat trips.

6) You forgot how good Dane surfs. We all did, I think. His relevancy seems to be slipping away, but who cares? Remember when it became almost general consensus that he was the Best Surfer on Earth? Then Kelly won another tittle, John John came into his own, and we kinda felt weird about bestowing Dane with that status? Don’t feel weird about it. He’s the best. Without question.

7) Dane needs a new kind of surfboard. I don’t even know what it would look like, but he turns so hard that his boards almost seem like impediments to his progress.

8) There is a Taylor Knox air segment. How great is that? He doesn’t land any.

9) In a couple years, we’ll all be using full-deck traction again. Like Droid.

10) Loaded will make you go surfing. I had so much work to do this morning. But by the time the movie was over I had my wetsuit halfway on and was out the door. Sorry, boss.

  • Vitror

    11 ) because it’s dane

  • Mik

    if you can’t relate to Indo boat trips, you are not a serious surfer.

    • Trust fund hippy

      Mik, you are so right! Indo is so cheap and easily available to all surfers that EVERYONE should be able to relate to it. I can’t stand these poor surfers that are all like, “I can’t afford an Indo boat trip”. I mean why don’t they just get the money from theirs dad’s dealership and just go?

      • Patrick

        Excuse me, Mik? I am 29 and a F$%king serious surfer. I’ve worked my ass off since high school, paying my own way through college. I’ve been surfing all over Latin America, Australia, NZ, Canada and Europe. I’ve never been to Indonesia, let alone a boat trip. What? Do you live in Cardiff and have a garage full of super expensive twin fins and SUPs? You drink f%$king smoothies and do crossfit 2 times a week?

        • Mik

          I’ve paid my way through an undergraduate degree in Graphic Design and an MA in Education… I drive a Honda Station wagon… I’d rather die than own an SUP…

          All of my 7 boards are custom thruster shapes that I earned in exchange for doing logo work for the shapers (prominent labels), although my latest boards are custom Taj model FireWires, that I adapted my surfing to because I love FireWire technology and Nev’s shaping skills.

          I do drink raw organic protein smoothies everyday, and I am a fitness and Yoga freak… And I am an admitted surf addict, who has surfed everywhere on the North Coast, Hawaii, Tavarua, and Bali…

          And of all of the places I have ever surfed, Indo is the only place I think of every single session. It’s the measuring stick I go by…

          And probably 100% of any one else who has been there.

          BTW: the only thing keeping you from going is you.

          • Johnny Bee

            The only things that keeps me from going is my bank account and the family I have to take care of.

          • Mik

            You can get to Islands off Bali, and surf all over Bali cheap. I do not do the bloated fee boats. Fuck that. I’m talking about surfing Indo is the bar that I set for good waves. Go. You’ll see. I’m not dissing anyone for income constraints. I’m dissing Housman’s comment because I REALLY want to see Dane in the best waves on Earth, not just blowing Emma Woods / Ventura to shreds. Cloudbreak is a step in the right direction, but as good as Cloudbreak can be, (and yes I’ve been there) there’s 50 places in Indo that will make your mind numb.

          • Johnny Bee

            I know how cheap Bali is. The problem is getting there. A ticket would cost me two months of income. I can’t afford that, I have a kid to feed.

          • patrick

            so you’re from cardiff?

          • Mik

            Nor Cal. SC / SF

    • Kim

      If you write a comment like this, you are an elitist turd.

      • Mik

        What? Go there and find out, instead of name calling. You’ll thank me.

  • a human

    If Dane can make this type of surf movie again, then I think he has truly justified leaving tour. I just want to see him keep shredding.

  • duke lavis

    “5) The surfing, with the exception of the last segment at Cloudbreak, is in good waves, but they’re also normalwaves. The kinds of waves you’ve probably surfed this winter a few times. Indo is great and all, but Christ it’s boring. I want to watch surfing I can relate to, and that counts out boat trips.”


  • not dane

    whats the steep one before cloudbreak

  • Mik

    very fresh approach. full of Dane’s radliness. + a great crew, i am always stoked to see Nat and Droid too… so more more more!

    …but for me, as cool as this is, I still want to see Dane in the best surf the world has to offer… and overall, that means Indo and J Bay.

  • jmaccers

    11) the velvet underground ‘loaded’ album reference. Have a look at the album cover. Well played, Dane, well played.

  • Evili

    Yha yha Fuck yha!

  • Degree33Surfboards

    That steep one looks like smaller Puerto. I say that because of the Dodge Ram on the sand and the close proximity to shore.

  • Mik

    Sik. just moved to my number one favorite surf flick. like waiting for a new album by a favorite musician and being stoked to discover they have upped their game.