Right out of college [Dylan Ladds and I] started working on a full-length documentary [THE GRANITE STOKE, about New Hampshire’s surfing community]. We decided along the way to make short films, to keep people interested.
New England Blood was just selected to be in the SAN DIEGO SURF FILM FESTIVAL, May 8 to 12. We’re trying to make surf videos that aren’t about surfing. It’s a weird thing. Everyone is together because of the surfing, but the wave can be the least important part of it. Most surf videos are much more about the action or the maneuvers or how good you can make the surfers look. Because [New Hampshire’s coast] is such a small area, THE PLACE IS WHAT MAKES THE COMMUNITY. We’re trying to get across some feeling of what it’s like to be there.
A lot has to do with THE COLD AND THE INCONSISTENCY OF THE SWELLS. If you’re really a surfer, you’re going to surf a hundred times a year, and 200 times, and you’re going to go out when it’s terrible, when there’s no one else there. That’s where a lot of that sort of solitude comes in.
The title New England Blood comes from Dave Cropper, the owner of Cinnamon Rainbows, the main surf shop in New Hampshire. He worked for a while in a shop in California, and then he came back. One of the things we asked him was “Why did you come back?” And he said, “There’s just something in your blood. YOU HAVE NEW ENGLAND IN YOUR BLOOD.” In order for you to stay here and really want it — there has to be something that you just can’t separate yourself from. — As told to Benita Hussain
Interview has been edited and condensed.