All Weird Everything
A sit down with Dylan Graves and David Malcolm to discuss Weird Waves, Season One.
Vans: Dylan, it seems that Weird Waves have been intriguing for your entire life. Where did the inspiration originate?
Dylan Graves: Definitely at home in Puerto Rico off a rock wedge. I did my first air there, so I kind of look at novelty as progression. It helps me look at surfing differently and definitely keeps things fresh and exciting.
Now that the first season is out, how do you guys feel about the reactions you’re seeing and hearing?
David Malcolm: It’s been nothing but great. While we were putting together the first episode, I could totally feel like we had tapped into something unique and refreshing. Then we just crossed our fingers that the audience felt the same way.
DG: We’re kind of there now [laughs]. Dave has such a good eye — I just know if Dave is pumped, then it’s gonna look banging. I’ve gotten more familiar with the process and what we are looking for. As always, Dave has taught me a lot and I am continuing to learn. The editing process we seem to nit pick everything. We challenge every little decision we make to make sure it’s the right one.
DM: I bet our significant others wish we communicated telepathically rather than on the phone all day, but yeah, pretty much. We communicate pretty well by this point, so there’s no awkward feelings with criticism and all the process stuff, that eventually gets ironed out into a strong film.
Dylan, what’s your mindset when you go to these spots? Do you have a goal to rip in and bag a clip, or is it more about the experience?
DG: After traveling 15 plus years on surf trips I’ve learned to enjoy both. I enjoy the challenge of trying to get clips and pushing myself. I think I’ve learned how to separate the two now, although at times I get a bit carried away still [with clips].
How has your perception of surfing and surf culture changed after last year?
DM: I’ve witnessed levels of stoke that have been higher than anything I’ve seen in my 20+ years surfing in the ocean.
DG: Crazy to see how “surfing” is so many different things to so many different people. There’s no wrong way to stand on a board. Getting to experience these different places makes me feel like we’re traveling back in time or something.
Were there any localism vibes bringing cameras to these spots?
DG: The UK and Germany, certain people were a little wary of us filming certain things. We tried to be as respectful as possible, while still doing what we have to. It can be a tricky dance.
DM: Not nearly as much as I expected, but the UK we were sort of had to walk on eggshells at first. I don’t blame anyone for being wary of all the cameras. But a day in, and we’re sharing Guinness’s with the same crew we were worried about.
What was the weirdest moment? What impressed you, challenged you, and scared you the most?
DG: I think I saw a ghost at the Christmas House in Racine, Wisconsin. A dark figure approached me when I was bringing my bags to the car. I could’ve sworn it was Dave, asked for the keys, and when I looked up, the dark figure disappeared. I think I was most challenged by being a host — hosts and ghosts! I was most impressed with tidal bores. They are quite the spectacle.
DM: Three days with Burton in the frozen white north was easily the most intense, energy-draining trip I’ve been on. The talent level at the Eisbach in Germany was incredible. 14 year old kids were showing Dylan and Tanner how it’s done.
What ended up being your favorite episode?
DG: I can’t watch any of them anymore. We spent so much time editing, I’m blown out. My favorite trip was the Severn Bore.
DM: The hardest question I get since we released. The Severn Bore from start to finish was such a logistical nightmare to try and solve, but scoring the Great Lakes is super rare. Those episodes are a tie for me.
Have fans been coming out of the literal woodworks to try and pitch their own ‘Weird Waves’?
DG: Yes, it’s been awesome! I’m still receiving DMs and still reading through all of them. Sorry if I haven’t responded to you yet! Keep them coming.
What’s on the palate for Season Two?
DM: I think we have a great sense of what we need to improve on, and what strengths to carry into Season Two.
DG: We want to get as weird as possible and spread the love to all different wave forms and cultures.
Anyone you’d like to thank?
DG: My wife Batman for putting up with all the questions and watching the edits every time we had made a change. Every host — Burton, KB, Alex and Gerry, Steve King, Tao, Quirin, and all the locals in each spot. The entire crew at Vans. Dave [Malcolm], Jimmy Wilson, Reagan Ritchie, Paul Daniel, and everyone who helped on the production side.
DM: Dylan is the MVP. Producer, host, surfer, editor, musician. Thanks to every single person we crossed paths with, the cam ops on each trip, and the guys at Vans putting trust in us and giving us the platform to make this thing!
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