Surfology 101 (nu.millennia/inc.) invites you, in the manual, to experience the surfing rush, surf the world, save the oceans, learn the lingo, check out the hard bodies, meet the legends, and learn about science. Promises, promises. What the disc really delivers is a modicum of video, even less animation, a glossary, and some good surf music. The main menu is broken down into Spirit, Style, Sport, and Science. These vague categories are intended to make the tone of the program philosophical. This isn’t just about standing on a board, people – it’s an attitude and a way of life. The disc makes this much clear, but fails to illuminate both the attitude and the way of life satisfactorily. Each menu heading leads to a world-class surfing champion who stands on a beach and scowls at the camera as the wind whips his hair. We never knew just how accurate a stereotype Spicoli, from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, really was; these guys would look right at home tumbling out of a van in a haze of pot smoke. This is not to make judgments on their intelligence – only on their ability to articulate in front of the camera. Get past the rambling psuedo-Zen ruminations on surfing and you’re in for the best part of the program, which is the video. Waves crash, surfers show off, more waves crash, more surfers show off. Awesome, dude. At some point, however, you’ll have to move on. Try to avoid the lesson on tides, which is delivered with less inflection than a Kevin Costner monologue. Usually we would recommend a disc like this for hardcore enthusiasts, but in this case the thrills can’t even begin to compare with actually catching a wave – so we’ll have to recommend an across-the-board pass. Bogus!
– April 1996