After a crisp autumn surf session, why not reward yourself with a little sofa time, popcorn, a cosy blanket and a classic surf movie?
Die hard surfer or beach bum, you don’t have to be a surfing or movie buff to enjoy, just kick back and enjoy the beautiful scenery, sexy surf culture, incredible waves and top athletes and surfing abilities. From girly flicks to big-wave docs, here are a few of our favourites in chronological order …
The Endless Summer: 1966
The crown jewel to ten years of Bruce Brown surfing documentaries. Brown follows two young surfers around the world in search of the perfect wave, and ends up finding quite a few in addition to some colourful local characters. Fun fact – Brown put up $50,000 of his own money to promote the film and he eventually earned $30 million it.
Morning of the Earth: 1971
A classic surf film portraying surfers living in spiritual harmony with nature, making their own boards and homes as they traveled in search of the perfect wave across Australia’s north-east coast, Bali and Hawaii. Accurately documenting the spiritual link that exists between nature and surfing.
The movie is regarded as one of the finest of its genre and noted as recording the first surfers to ride the waves at Uluwatu on the very southern tip of Bali and so bringing Bali to the attention of surfers around the world and so the beginnings of Bali as a major tourist destination.
North Shore: 1987
After learning how to surf by using the local wave tanks, Arizona resident Rick uses his winnings from a recent contest to fly to Hawaii and try to make a living for himself as a professional wave rider. He immediately finds out that he knows nothing about the local habits, customs, or pecking order which cause him some starting problems. Not the strongest plot line, but a cult classic that captures surfing brotherhood, soulfulness and majesty well. Fun fact – off the back of the movie, John Philbin who play Turtle, got so into surfing that today he still helps run a surf school.
Point Break: 1991
An F.B.I. Agent goes undercover to catch a gang of surfers who may be bank robbers.
The source of the famed ‘surfing’s the source’ quote, big wave riding, an edgy female surfer at the centre of it all, Keanu Reeves kicking ass, Patrick Swayze embracing the bad boy, cali surf look. Fun fact – for many of the surfing scenes, Swayze refused to use a stunt double, as he never had one for fight scenes or car chases.
Blue Crush: 2002
As a hard-core surfer girl prepares for a big competition, she finds herself falling for a football player. Kate Boswoth, Michelle Rodriguez, a tale of friendship, the Rip Masters surf competition and adrenaline-charged surf. Fun fact – Kate Bosworth was briefly knocked unconscious while filming one of the surfing lesson scenes. For the big competition scene, a male pro surfer was used, complete with wig, bikini and shaved legs.
Riding Giants: 2004
Part sports history, part thrill ride, skateboarder Stacy Peralta’s documentary pays homage to the brave, foolish surfers who dare ride the world’s biggest waves. Peralta lays out the evolution of big-wave surfing from the ’50s to today, touching upon changing trends and the constant search for ever larger waves.
A 2007 American documentary film about the 11-member Doc Paskowitz family, a 24-foot camper, a philosophy of holistic health and diet and their time ruling the surfing world.
Surf’s Up 2007
Ok so definitely not a serious surf movie but it is a fun one! Surfing means everything to teenage penguin Cody Maverick (Shia LaBeouf) who leaves his home in Antarctica for Pen Gu Island, site of the the Big Z Memorial Surf Off. Cody believes that winning the competition will make him respected and admired but an encounter with washed-up surfer Geek (Jeff Bridges) teaches Cody about what is truly important. Fun fact – the animators make a research trip to Malibu Beach to study surf and surfers.
Soul Surfer: 2011
Based on the true story of Bethany Hamilton and how she overcome the odds and her own fears of returning to the water after losing her left arm in a shark attack. Chick flick vibes, filmed in beautiful Hawaii and based on an incredible and inspirational true story. Fun fact – Hamilton provided most of the surf double work for her character and they filmed the attack scene on the beach where the real one happened PLUS the dog in the movie is actually Bethany’s own dog Hana.
Chasing Mavericks: 2012
Based on the inspirational true story of surfing icon Jay Moriarty, this movie tells the story of a young man’s quest to surf Northern California’s most dangerous wave, and the local legend (played by Gerald Butler) who takes him under his wing. What begins as a mentorship turns into a unique lifelong bond. Fun fact – Butler nearly drowned when a 20 foot wave broke on his head whilst filming a scene at Mavericks.