History of Australian Surfing/Fall Line (Nat Young) (1985)

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Released 15-Feb-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Surfing Main Menu Audio
Introduction-Nat Young
Short Film-Fall Line, With Intro By Nat Young
Trailer-Crystal Voyager, South, Rainbow Bridge,Sunbury Rock Festival
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 1985
Running Time 87:21
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Nat Young

Umbrella Entertainment
Starring Nat Young
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Various

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Screen, not known whether Pan & Scan or Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    In this pretty cheap and cheesy documentary, iconic Aussie surfer and former World Champion Nat Young, provides a dated, yet interesting look at the history of surfing and Australian beach culture.

    Written and produced about 20 years ago as a companion to Nat Young's book, History of Australian Surfing, this documentary certainly shows its age. This is particularly evident during the interview segments. That said, with its use of archival stills and footage, it still remains interesting and relevant. For example, there is some interesting footage taken at Kirra and Bells over the years, and some enjoyable footage of some of the surfing greats, such as Midget Farrelly, Michael Petersen, Wayne Lynch, Mark Richards, and Tom Carrol.

    Nat Young attempts to cover the history of our love of the beach beginning with the Victorian bathing boxes, and continuing to today's skimpy swimwear fashion industry. Notable events are covered, such as Mr Gocher's daring (and illegal) swims at Manly Beach during the daytime in 1902. After all, it is due to Gocher's persistent 'protest swims' that daytime bathing was finally allowed on Australian beaches.

    Important events in surfing history are covered, ranging from the visit by the great Hawaiian, Duke Kahanamoku (who started the sport/lifestyle of surfing in Australia with his 1915 surfing demonstration), to the first World surfing Championship held in Manly in 1964, to the development of shortboards in the 1970s, and twin/three fin boards following that.

    In addition to this, considerable time is spent looking at the culture of Australian surf life saving, and the growth of competition surfing during the 1950s and 1960s.

    However, the outstandingly annoying feature of the documentary is the monotonous drone in which Nat Young speaks, as he provides his rather pedestrian narration.

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Transfer Quality


    The transfer is adversely effected by the age and the very 'cheap' nature of the source material. The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

    The sharpness suffers throughout, and a lot of the file footage can be blurry. The shadow detail also varies depending on the source and age of the source material.

    The documentary has both black & white and colour segments. The colour segments often looked muted with age.

    A lot of the image is grainy, but there are no problems with MPEG artefacts. The transfer suffers from film-to-video artefacts as there is telecine wobble throughout. Film artefacts also appear throughout.

    There are no subtitles present on the DVD.

    This is a dual-layered disc, and I suspect the layer change is in between the feature and extras.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There is only one audio option on this DVD: English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s).

    The dialogue quality and audio sync are mostly fine throughout, but occasionally the sync is out, such as at 67:10.

    The musical score is minimal, but there is good use of some classic Aussie tunes, provided by The Easybeats, Deltones, Dragon, and Australian Crawl.

    As a Dolby Stereo track, there is no surround presence or LFE activity.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    There are a few extras, dominated by Nat Young's documentary, The Fall Line.


    A very simple menu with audio.

Introduction-Nat Young

    In a recently shot segment, Nat Young provides a short introduction to the documentary.

Short Film-Fall Line, With Intro By Nat Young (44:24)

    Nat Young looks at the attraction some people have to dangerous or extreme sports.

Umbrella Propaganda - Trailers

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    So far this DVD has only been released locally, but it is zoned for all regions.


    This DVD is really designed for surfers with an interest in the development of the sport.

    The video quality is disappointing but still watchable.

    The audio quality is acceptable.

    There are a few extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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