Coast Life

WATCH: If Santa Cruz were a car ... Hyundai goes all out in capturing this place’s vibe in new sport vehicle

“Journey Through Santa Cruz” was filmed by legendary skate culture documentarian Stacy Peralta, who has an appreciation for the area’s unique vibe and contributions to the world of surfing and skating.

The film crews were making the rounds throughout Santa Cruz in June, from the stairs at Pleasure Point to Streetlight Records downtown to the far North Coast beaches to the thick canopy of Henry Cowell.

The goal of “Journey Through Santa Cruz”: Capture the embodiment of this place so magical and mystical, yet rugged enough, to be the namesake for a car company’s first true sport vehicle.

Yes, you can now officially purchase the Hyundai Santa Cruz (they do like doing the geographical thing ... you’ve heard of the Santa Fe) starting at $23,990.

Hyundai went all out in making sure it did this right. While there are a number of local videographers who would’ve been fine choices for authenticity’s sake, they tapped one of the legends of skate culture documentation: Stacy Peralta.

Peralta — one-half of the iconic Powell-Peralta brand — gained widespread notoriety for writing and directing “Dogtown and Z-Boys” in 2001. And he was a fine choice because he knows the uniqueness of this place.

Matt Rockhold takes the Santa Cruz for a sweet view — and surf check — up the coast.
(Screengrab from “Journey Through Santa Cruz.”)

“There’s a really deep bed of culture here,” he told the Good Times in June. “There’s a heavy performance ethic here. If you’re a skateboarder, a surfer, a mountain biker, or a hiker, or a musician or an artist, everyone is competing with each other to be great. Which makes [Santa Cruz] great.”

Over the course of the four-minute mini-movie, Peralta focuses in on three genuine Santa Cruz personas:

  • Surfer Matt Rockhold, who takes the Hyundai up the coast for a surf check and then up into the redwoods for some mountain biking.
  • Artist Jimbo Phillips, whose work (along with his dad) has taken the Santa Cruz brand around the world.
  • And a group of skateboarding young women who call themselves the Lady Lurkers and frequent Derby Park.

Peralta did a nice job not being overly kitschy on the Santa Cruz vibe, yet capturing just enough — particularly via drone footage that really makes you appreciate where you live. But don’t take our word for it, have a look.