Dick Brewer and Bob McTavis prepare to settle the shortboard argument addressed in the film Going Vertical.
Dick Brewer and Bob McTavis prepare to settle the shortboard argument addressed in the film Going Vertical. Crystal Spencer

Surfing legends go head to head

THE answer to one of the surfing world’s biggest questions may be answered when the film, Going Vertical, hits the big screen at Sawtell Cinema next week.

The intriguing ‘David vs Goliath’ tale that, after 42 years has been re-ignited by the Australian feature film – which country really is responsible for the shortboard revolution?

At the centre of this debate are two men, now in their sixties: Australian Bob McTavish and American Dick Brewer.

Which of these men was truly responsible for kicking off this surfing revolution during the tumultuous 1967 summer of love that turned the sport around the world, literally, upside down?

Was the pioneer, as legend has it, Dick, who lead the way to shortboard commercialism in the United States? Or was it the brainchild of Australian surfing legend and surfboard designer Bob and a few of his mates such as Nat Young and George Greenough?

Over the past four decades, dozens of books, movies and magazine articles have presented differing views of this most important moment in surfing history.

Filmed in Australia, Hawaii and California, and featuring extraordinary archival footage of surf legends of the past four decades as well as the hottest surfers of today, Going Vertical, for the first time, tells both sides of this compelling and fascinating story.

Narrated by one of Australia’s finest exports, Simon Baker, produced by Robert Raymond (Schindler’s List, Somebody’s Sweetheart, Lust in the Dust) and directed by one of Australia’s best-known and highly regarded film-makers, two-time Academy-Award nominee David Bradbury, Going Vertical is a must-see for any surfing fan.

* Going Vertical will screen at Sawtell First Avenue Cinema on Friday, May 14 and Saturday, May 16.



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