Echo Beach tells the story of the Newport Beach surf scene in the eighties. Originally a reference to the steep, fast breaks between 52nd and 54th Streets, the name "Echo Beach" came to signify an entire era of Southern California surf culture. A group of innovative, extra-rebellious local surfers rose to global prominence not only for their new level of athleticism in the sport of surfing, but also for their (then) whacked-out contributions to style, fashion, business, culture and the arts. Neon colors, new styles, and a general loudness pervaded the Echo Beach scene, along with the usual cornucopia of drugs, girls and parties that always abounds in any surf scene worth its salt.
The documentary, however, chooses to focus most of its attention on the new companies and individuals whose unprecedented rise to wealth and fame changed surfing forever, creating the household names we know today: Quicksilver, Stussy, Rip Curl, Wave Tools and more. Neon boards shaped by local shaper Lance Collins dotted the coast for miles. An aggressive surfing style began to change the way people rode waves. And the surf clothing industry exploded into the multi billion-dollar powerhouse we see today. As the filmmakers have said, "photographers, surfers, surfboard shapers and clothing companies all came together to create this movement...on a hundred yard stretch of sand...known as Echo Beach."
The film features interviews with a hefty line-up of Echo Beach connoisseurs, including Bob Hurley, Bob McKnight, Peter Townend, Mike Moir and a host of others. A screening of the film will be showing locally on August 6th, at the Lido Theatre, 3459 Via Lido, Newport Beach 92663, at 7:00pm and again at 8:30pm. The last showing sold out fast, so get your tickets in advance and check out this story of a too-often-overlooked slice of surfing history.