Momentum Generation Review: Surf Culture at its Best

Momentum Generation is a 2018 surfing documentary that transcended the sport of surfing and earned itself a following among surfers and non-surfers alike.

When you think "surfing documentary", your mind tends to shift one of two ways, either to a technical masterclass on the art of surfing or a complete soulless spectacle that amounts to little more than a highlight reel.

Momentum Generation is neither of those things and you don't need to be a surfing fan to enjoy this documentary.

Momentum Generation follows a group of surfers (Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, Ross Williams, Taylor Steele, Benji Weatherley, Shane Dorian, Taylor Knox, Kalani Robb, and Pat O’Connell) as they reminisce about championships, big waves, wipeouts, and friends past and present.

It's a story about them, their lives, and the impact that surfing had on them growing up, but it's also a story about surfing itself.

After all, not only are the Momentum Generation crew some of the most talented surfers of the last few decades, but they also share a jaw-dropping number of titles between them.

Kelly Slater alone has won more than anyone else in the history of the sport and continues to have a massive influence via his Surf Ranch.

Momentum Generation tells a few different stories.

A lot has happened to these surfers over the years and they all have their tales to tell, many of which are woven together via common threads like the death of Todd Chesser, the rivalry between Rob Machado and Kelly Slater, and the incredible upward trajectory that saw the latter become one of the world's greatest in a relatively short space of time.

Surfers will certainly connect with the film and its stars on a much deeper level.

They will recognize the surfers and can revel in the countless hours of private surfing footage that has been condensed into a few big wave rides, wipeouts, and other classic moments.

They'll also enjoy seeing surf spots on the north shore of Oahu, where much of the film and its stories are based.

As for non-surfers, they might not connect as strongly with the liberal use of words like "gnarly" and other surfer slang, but there's a sentimentality here that will draw everyone in.

Whether you're a surfer or not, by the end of this surf documentary, you'll be keen to pick up a board and follow in the footsteps of Kelly Slater and friends.

Momentum Generation has a runtime of 1 hour 43 minutes and is available through HBO.

It has received a wealth of positive reviews from users and critics alike and is already considered to be one of the best sports documentaries of the decade!

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