The Timelessness Of Ryan Hardy.
By Dan Dobbin.
Hopefully, by now you’ve seen “Punk”, the short film by Lachlan Hearne and Hardy shapes released late last year.
The clip features riding from Hearne, Ashden Garrett, Brad and Jake Stone, and Mr Ryan Hardy himself. While the bodyboarding done by all is quality, Hardy is without a doubt still the standout performer in the film.
What separates him from the pack is the length he is able to get in his surfing, drawn from precise rail work and wave positioning.
There’s no pumping, no radical adjustments or harsh change of angles needed. The line is drawn and held until the desired location on the wave face is reached. Point and shoot!
Once there, countless hours of muscle memory and repetition kick in. The recoil whip reverse, the trademark Hardyvert, the downward power carve.
The drive off the bottom turn, coupled with the economy of movement and body mechanics that Hardy has long been famous for is what creates such sweet viewing.
It seems like such a simple formula. The basis of great surfing for generations.
But no one does it as well as Hardy.
It’s hard to understand just how seminal Ryan’s first biographical film “The Hardlyfe” was when it came out if you’re not of that generation.
Before its release, Hardy was just one of the next generation of young Aussies coming through.
After the film debuted, he became an icon, the new standard.
Surfing with style was already important thanks to the Stewart blueprint, but Hardy’s riding in the film introduced an expectation of precision and exactness that hadn’t been present before. Overnight the level of what good “style” was (and sales of Churchill fins and yellow boards) went up exponentially.
Hardy’s surfing isn’t that much different today. You could drop waves from “The Hardlyfe ” into “Punk” and the difference would be barely noticed. Far from a criticism, this belies how much of quantum leap Ryan’s early surfing really was.
It has long been noted that champions make the difficult seem simple. The Italian’s have a word for the concept: “Sprezzatura: to conceal all art and make whatever one does appear to be without effort and almost without thought”.
Observing his surfing in “Punk”, this seems like a pretty apt description for the level Hardy continues to ride at.