Chris Bystrom

Chris Bystrom

All of my photography and achievements (although somewhat minor) can be attributed to my late father, Chris. Below is a brief write up I put together for him, wherever you are, I miss you mate.
Chris Bystrom started off with humble beginnings, and like many other teenagers growing up as a young Californian in Redondo Beach, loved surfing with a passion. He earned his daily keep wheeling and dealing, selling records at swap meets for double the price he originally paid. It wasn’t until a close friend handed him a movie camera in ‘67 that Chris found his true calling. So at age 17, fuelled with the love of surfing and capturing photographic images, he began shooting.
Since that first encounter with a camera Chris has produced 3 feature-length 16mm surfing documentaries and 27 surfing films.
In an era when most surf movies were being shown in high school auditoriums and community centers Chris brought surfing back to the big screen. His 16mm films were shown at the Sydney Opera House and cinemas across Australia and the United States.
Chris’s covers featured famous surfing artists like Rick Griffin and Jim Davidson. His eye for talent brought underground bands at the time like “INXS”, “Men Without Hats” and the “Hoodoo Gurus” public exposure when he incorporated them in his movies.
Although more widely known for his movie making, Chris also had literary and business talents. He founded, published and edited the influential “Pacific Longboarder Magazine” in Australia for two years and also owned a surf shop cum museum called “Retro Groove” in Coolangatta. Chris’s vast surfing roots gave him the knowledge to author “The Glide” which was the first comprehensive look at longboarding in nearly thirty years and was a forerunner of today’s longboarding books.
Tragically, Chris was killed in a motor vehicle accident at Tumbulgum NSW in May 2001.
As one of the primary film makers of his time Chris’s contribution to the sport of surfing will never be forgotten. He is sadly missed by family and friends alike.
Check out www.chrisbystrom.com for movie trailers and further info.