Surfing movies are far more than just a mindless hour or two watching people splash about in the waves, or tanned mostly naked bodies doing laps on the beach. They’re a gateway into the lifestyle and the magic behind why people like me surf every day, and in fact, dedicate our lives to the sport. Some are funny, some are inspiring, some are a mixture of everything we love in a typical rom-com with a touch of something we can all relate to. Here we look at some of our favorite surfing movies of all time that every avid surfer should have in their collection.
- The Endless Summer – This film, produced by Bruce Brown, was the first of his surfing movies to be released nationally. While he’s been making surfing movies since the 1950s, this would mean his first taste of success. The reason this movie is so wonderful is because it represents freedom. The premise is that one can follow summer all around the world if you have the resources and this is what happens in the film. Now for most of us, this is a dream that we can’t necessarily live out which is what made the idea so appealing to mass audiences.
- The Endless Summer II – Much later in 1994, the endless summer II would be released to eager audiences who loved the legacy of the first one. One again, Bruce Brown returned to create this ‘sequel’ although it stood independently. Although this movie was also well-loved, most avid fans give it lower ratings than the original which really managed to capture an unknown magic. However, many of the locals in the original film were caught on camera in this one, giving fans something special.
- Big Wednesday – Another popular classic, Big Wednesday hit the scene in 1978 and detailed the story of three Californian surfers who were all waiting for a somewhat mythical day. This would be the day when the perfect, most surreal wave would appear for them to ride. However, amidst the anticipation, there are some interesting historical elements as well. The Vietnam War plays a big role in the plot, leaving them somewhat disillusioned and wondering if they’ll ever get to experience this incredible moment they’ve been waiting for.
- Step Into the Liquid – This incredible film involves some of the biggest names in surfing from Layne Beachley and Rochelle Bollard to Bruce Brown and Ken Collins, touching on some of the most experienced surfers in the world. “One of the most famous quotes from the movie is: You’re stepping off of concrete ground into an element that’s always moving and changing and it’s surrounding you and it feels good”. These are words which couldn’t be more true.
While many of these movies belong to older generations in a sense, they are still loved and revered by surfers the world-over offering magic, entertainment and some of the original freedom and excitement associated with surfing back in the sixties and seventies. There’s nothing quite like a trip down memory lane on a Friday night to remind you why you love the sport, as if you needed it. So haul out the popcorn and enjoy some of the most legendary surfing movies of all time.