Robert Redford-Produced Premiere of ‘Momentum Generation’ at Tribeca Film Festival

Front page image: Talyor Steele

Frame Grab above: the most popular, successful member of the infamous Momentum Generation.

The story of how one house in Hawaii nurtured a crew that would “forever reshape worldwide culture in the 1990s”

A young group of surfers stumble into one another’s company and helped change the sport. This documentary was executive-produced by Robert Redford, et al.  is set to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

The film tracks the rise of athletes who would go on to “win world titles and forever reshape worldwide culture in the 1990s and beyond,” according to a statement from the directors, Jeff and Michael Zimbalist.

In the Momentum Generation teaser, the surfers come together as a group for the first time. “We all knew each other from surfing different amateur events,” Rob Machado says. “But it wasn’t until we stayed at Benji’s house that we became a posse.”

The fact that Benji Weatherley had a house ideally situated for surfing was actually accidental. “My mom and dad split up,” he remembers in the film. “She went to Hawaii on vacation. She came back and said, ‘hey boys, get in the car, we’re moving to Hawaii.’ And it happened to be the north shore of Oahu.”

“We didn’t even know that Pipeline and Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach [all popular surfing destinations] were down there,” Weatherley’s mother added. “This was how naïve we were.”

Things quickly changed. Ross Williams (JJF coach) and Shane Dorian (Best Big Wave Rider) were two of the first surfers to start visiting Weatherley’s house regularly. Soon the group of aspiring stars expanded to include Kelly Slater, Taylor Knox, a member of the Surfing Hall of Fame, and many others.

Weatherley told Rolling Stone that Momentum Generation offers important lessons for surfers and non-surfers alike. “If you have an amazing group of people that are humble and grounded with the same goal in mind,” he says, “you can achieve anything.”


Jeff and Michael Zimbalist are Emmy®- and Peabody Award-winning writers, directors, producers, and editors, whose films have been broadcast on HBO, Netflix, CBS, ESPN, and Showtime and theatrically distributed worldwide. Their past films include The Two EscobarsFavela Rising, and Pelé: Birth of a Legend.


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