Last night I sat down to watch “Tan Lines” on DVD. I’d bought it on impulse a couple of years ago now and hadn’t watched it in a while. I didn’t get very far into it before I remembered just how awful the movie is. The acting, script, story and photography are all bad. When you are filming a surfing movie, please invest in cameras that can get wet so you don’t have to put the actors in a rockpool pretending they are sitting in the surf. It’s easy to spot.

So instead I watched “Shelter” again. It’s a good movie that I think nearly everyone who has come out after their teens can identify with. My favourite surfing movie that doesn’t have as obvious a gay sub plot, is “Newcastle”. The cast are beautiful but very believable in their roles, the story is good and visually the film just nails it and the surfers are sitting in the surf, not in a rockpool.

A friend of mine had friends involved in “Tanlines” and when they were doing pre-production, a senior executive at a major surfing company said “Why are you making a gay surfing movie? There are no gay surfers.” That’s bullshit. While in sydney there are no gay surfing groups like there are for almost every other sport, surfing is a solitary sport and also fairly macho. Gay surfers are out there, quietly riding the waves and watching the swells come in, right beside the straight ones.