5 Surfing Movies that you Must Watch

by Joey Paur

 

One thing that I love to do other than watch and write about movies is surf, and I don’t mean on the internet. I love going to the beach and riding the ocean waves on my 9 foot long board. It's one of the most relaxing and exciting things ever, except when the waves are really big, and you totally get pounded by them, that’s just fun.

 

Since it's summer, I thought it would be cool to create a list of 5 of my favorite movies about surfing. These are movies I highly recommend to all of you, to witness the greatness and power of surfing for yourself. I have provide trailer and footage for these films for you to watch.

 

The Endless Summer

 

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Let me start you off with the movie that started it all. The Endless Summer is one of the first and most influential films of the surf movie genre. In my opinion every surfing movie and documentary ever made was inspired by this film.

 

Directed by Bruce Brown this film follows two surfers on a trip around the world exploring new surf spots and introducing the sport to those that may have not heard of it. The title of the film conveys the idea that if a person had enough time and money it would be possible to follow the summer season around the world, which would give that person traveling an endless summer.

 

This film inspired surfers to travel the world, to find the perfect wave. It also introduced the sport to several different countries, that hadn’t heard of surfing before.



The Endless Summer 2

 

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I consider Bruce brown one of the best documentary filmmakers of all time. The guy changed the way documentaries were be made. The Endless Summer 2 is his 1994 follow-up movie. In this sequel, we follow two new surfers as they retrace the same waves from the surfers of the first film. This time we see how much surfing has grown in popularity and evolution the sport. The first movie only had the classic longboard surfing style. In the sequel one of the surfers ride a shortboard, which was created in the time between the two movies, we also see other evolutions of the sport such as windsurfing and bodyboarding. The film shows us how far surfing has spread, with footage of surf sessions in France, South Africa, Costa Rica, Australia Bali, Java, and Alaska.



North Shore

 

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This is the only non-documentary film on the list. North Shore is a classic 80’s movie that I grew up with. The film follows a teenager who wins a surfing contest in a artificial wave tank in Arizona. He uses his winnings to fly to Hawaii for the summer to try and become a professional surfer. Rick quickly finds out he has neither the skills nor the attitude to make it on his own in Hawaii. He gets introduced to a “soul surfer”, who teaches him the ways of the surf.

 

This movie is the surfing version of The Karate Kid which is why I think I enjoy it so much. I never learned karate but I learned how to surf. The film has got some great characters in it. My favorite character is Turtle who befriends the main character. He is the comic relief of the film.



Step Into Liquid

 

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Step into Liquid was directed by Dana Brown, son of Bruce Brown who I talked about above. He follows in his dads footsteps as he documents surfing footage from Oahu's North Shore, where the legendary Pipeline inspires this classic quote, "It's so scary, maybe you die a little." The film is full of great personal stories, and takes the viewer through some places you would never have thought people would go surfing.

 

The people that we meet in the documentary is one of the most interesting aspects of the movie. There are some pretty insane and inventive people out in the world when it comes to surfing.



Billabong Odyssey

 

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This film follows the industry's best big wave surfers as they travel the world searching for the largest waves that the ocean has to offer. The journey spanned 18 months, 6 continents and produced up to 70 foot waves… Awesome.

 

This movie is the most extreme surfing film I have ever seen and it opens up with one of the greatest opening sequences in a movie ever. It shows you the evolution of a massive wave unlike anything you have seen before unless you have seen this movie. The rest of the movie takes you on a fast paced big wave adventure where you get to see these men and women take on some of the biggest waves imaginable. And some of the worst wipeouts ever recorded. For surfers and non-surfers alike, this movie must be seen to be believed.






Riding Giants

 

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This is my favorite of them all. Riding Giants traces the origins of surfing and specifically focuses on the art of big wave riding. Some of the featured surfers are Greg Noll, Laird Hamilton, and Jeff Clark, and surfing pioneers such as Mickey Munoz.

 

The film begins with a very cool historical overview of surfing, starting at its Hawaiian beginnings, then moves on to focus on the dangerous lure of big wave surfing (surfing waves that can reach up to 70 feet). There are three surfers who are featured in this multi-generational evolution of surfing. They are Greg Noll known as a fearless big wave rider during the 1950s and 60s; Jeff Clark who discovered Mavericks in Northern California and surfed there alone for years; and Laird Hamilton, the contemporary surfer who brings tow-in riding to the limelight.

 

 




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