The Severson Files Part 2


Before diving into more serious topics of environmentalism and disillusionment, the second section of John Severson’s Pacific Vibrations hooks us with a light-hearted look at a dizzying variety of ways to ride waves: from canoes to inflatable mats and everything in between. Even a dog slides a small roller. A “Ride Anything” movement well before its time.

If the intro to Pacific Vibrations is John Severson’s general definition of surfing at the time, then its following segment is the film’s attempt to show how the individual perceives and/or participates in the act of riding waves.

Severson even polls strangers on the street for their thoughts on surfers. Everybody he talks to: a couple of girls, a brand-new surfer and a soldier, all seem to hold surfing in positive regard. A grandpa wearing some incredibly hip shades, appears to misinterpret the question as “What do you think about serving?” to which he responds, “While you’re in this country, why not serve ’em?” Serve’n USA! Maybe he means there’s no reason to discriminate against surfy customers. Who the hell knows.