Stoked and Broke (Cyrus Sutton, 2010): USA

Reviewed by Charles Starr. Viewed at SBIFF, 2011

“Stoked and Broke” is a documentary about Cyrus Sutton and Ryan Burch, two guys in their 20’s from  the San Diego, CA area with a passion for surfing. Anyone who loves surfing will instantly love this film and relate to it, but it is much more than just a surf film.

The film follows Sutton and Burch as they journey around the San Diego Coast for 8 days seeking adventure, new experiences and lots of surfing. They travel from place to place on foot overall traveling from Encinitas to Point Loma, some 30-odd miles. They leave home with nothing more than a few oranges, their various boards, some made out of styrofoam, and a make shift wagon for hauling it all around.They sleep behind buildings and at off leash dog parks. They meet many people along the way, many of them homeless, and inspire some with their carefree, laidback attitude. In turn, they also meet others that inspire them such as one man who had been living out of his bus and knee boarding since the 1970’s who also taught them some important life lessons.

While the two expected the trip to just be a good old time doing what they love, they also learned that leading the life they truly want meant more balance than they originally had thought. Initially the two cared little about anything other than surfing. Through their experiences in this short period of time, they learned family and financial stability cannot be overlooked and those they meet that had done just so ended up suffering in the long run.

Still, to me the story was somewhat of an inspiration. In a capitalistic society such as our own, it is nice to see these guys thinking outside the box. The movie emphasized that all too often people let financial restraints get in the way of following their dreams and Sutton and Burch were never deterred. Accomplishing what you set out to do for leisure or to feed your creativity often invovles just that: creativity! The two realized that jet setting around the world and discovering the world’s best spots to surf was out of the question and so they made due with what they had and had a great time doing it.

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