The Granite Stoke
An award-winning documentary about the New Hampshire surfing community.
Even though I grew up in Concord, New Hampshire and surfed on Cape Cod, I had no idea people surfed in NH until the summer of 2007. With only 13.5 miles of coastline, it was never on my radar. However, when I randomly decided to drive to the coast to teach some friends to surf, I was greeted by a vibrant and prolific community of surfers.
Since that day, I have been fascinated by these people and their deep passion. In May of 2011, I pitched the idea of making a documentary about these surfers and was awarded the Stonehenge Grant from Middlebury College's Project on Creativity and Innovation. Shortly afterward, I teamed up with my lifelong friend, Dylan Ladds, and began filming. We immersed ourselves into the community and realized there was much more depth and complexity than we anticipated. A one-year project ballooned into a three-year project, but the community deserved the extra time and effort.
While working on the feature, we made 26 short films that focused on specific people, events, or seasons. Two of those shorts, New England Blood and Salmon Theory, toured at film festivals around the world.
On May 3rd, we premiered the feature film in Portsmouth, NH to a packed local crowd and then flew to San Diego for the film's festival premiere at the San Diego Surf Festival, where it was awarded "Honorable Mention." We are currently submitting the film to more festivals and plan to release the film online in the next year.
The surfers in New Hampshire have taught me so much about passion, commitment, and the value of community. Making this documentary pushed me to my limits, and made me the filmmaker I am today.