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Locals’ surf flick packs theatre

ENCINITAS — An eclectic mix of fans, friends and family showed up in full force Sept. 9 for two showings at the La Paloma premiere of “Stoked and Broke.”
While the tour officially kicked off a few weeks ago in Long Beach, the two local filmmakers and stars of the quirky film, Cyrus Sutton and Ryan Burch, said the Encinitas showings were more personal. “Tonight truly felt like the tour was getting started with two sold-out crowds packing into the historic downtown Encinitas theater.”
The night was kicked off with “The Planing Totem,” a short film by Richard Kenvin, and a live music performance.
The main event, other than giving away plenty of swag, was a story about capturing the joy of surfing at its most minimal, thus the title of the documentary, “Stoked and Broke.” Surfers and filmmakers Sutton and Burch left their Encinitas homes with the intention to travel the coastline south without modern transportation or money.
In an era where surf trips can often cost into the five digits, the pair managed to travel on their nine-day “staycation” without any cash. Relying instead on the kindness of strangers, fellow surfers and the occasional reluctant passersby, Sutton and Burch experienced a new kind of surf trip that defied the norms of spending lots of money on a remote island far, far away.
In fact, the film is a kind of how-to guide for surfers to take a trip on the cheap — really cheap. The two spent nights on the beach, in a tent, on trails and without the comforts of everyday life.
“The original idea was the notion of how to take a surf trip without spending a lot of money,” Sutton said. “So many surfers can relate to that dream. We wanted to make a how-to film on how to do that.”
With their handmade bamboo rickshaws as a means of transporting gear, they made their way from Encinitas to Point Loma on foot. Meeting interesting characters along the way was all part of the fun.
“Anybody can pay for an extravagant surf trip,” said Lars Rehnquist, after watching the film. “Well, maybe not everybody, but the point is that the waves are what matters and the people you meet along the way.”
He said that while this wasn’t the “fanciest” surf documentary, it isn’t meant to be. “I liked it because it showed surfing through an old-school lens; guys just trying to catch a wave without a million sponsors or some deep catharsis in the movie,” Rehnquist said.
Sutton, a seasoned filmmaker at the age of 27, won an Emmy for his work on a surf documentary and directed “Riding Waves.” Burch, 21, is a familiar face in the lineup.
What began as an experiment in testing their mettle turned into a larger story for the pair. “We realized this was a coming-of-age story, two guys on a surf trip who wanted to have fun with creativity instead of dollars, but it also deals with the ideas of freedom and responsibility,” Sutton said.
The film will be available on DVD in October. For more information, visit