Welcome to the list of the best surfing movies of all time.
A sub-genre of sports and travel films, surf movies follow a typical motif of exploring the world for new surfing locations, riding the best waves, experiencing new cultures, and immersing oneself in the surfing lifestyle.
These surf flicks appeal to our sense of wonder and imagination.
All of these surf flicks have one thing in common: feelings of freedom, blue and dreamy waves, surfing trips abroad, and endless doses of enjoyment.
To put it another way, these are the best surfing films to watch when you're looking for inspiration to travel and surf.
Everyday, new surf films are being produced.
You can find a large range and diversity of surfing films on services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon.
We've seen most of them and would like to share with you the best surf movies we've watched this year.
Making surf videos is a difficult task. Surf photography and surf filmmaking are two distinct forms of art and sport that exist in their own world.
You'll appreciate the work and talents of those artists if you consider how much effort went into each frame while watching a surf film.
We're confident you'll enjoy these surfing movies for their cinematography as well as for their lighthearted stories.
1. Stab in the Dark
We are thrilled to announce that in one month, the release of Dane Reynolds', Jordy Smith's, and Mick Fanning's Stab in the Dark–one of the best surfing movies ever. To get everyone as stoked as we are, today we're releasing Mick Fanning's 2018 epoxy surfboard examination from the film.
In it you can watch him break down a variety of eco-friendly boards in huge Japanese waves, before narrowing it down to his three favorites.
He then has to pick just one board after getting rid of any perceived biases he may have had and testing them out finally in quintessential Australian conditions.
2. Join the Dance
In our opinion, the second best surfing movie of all time is Join the Dance. Sterling Spencer is a great surfer and his movies are worth watching. Surfing is a cool and unique experience that takes people on an emotional journey. It can only be truly appreciated when people express themselves individually.
3. The Endless Summer
The Endless Summer, directed by Bruce Brown, is a journey following two determined surfers, Michael Hynson and Robert August, around the world in search of the “perfect wave.” With captivating narration from Brown himself and an alluring instrumental soundtrack provided by The Sandals playing over beautiful silent footage, this film takes us to paradise-like Hawaii, Australia and South Africa.
Though it may seem as if they're on a leisurely vacation enjoying the sun and waves at different hidden surfing spots every day throughout their adventure documented in The Endless Summer – make no mistake about it – these athletes are keen challengers always seeking new horizons for victory.
4. The Innermost Limits of Pure Fun
The Innermost Limits of Pure Fun is a George Greenough film that comes in at #4 on our list of greatest surfing movies ever. It contains incredible footage of Australia and California.
5. Morning of the Earth
Morning of the Earth is a fantasy about surfers living in three untouched regions and playing in nature's seas. It tells the tale of a group of friends who journey through Australia, Bali, and Hawaii as they live an easy lifestyle while exploring the boundaries of all things lovely. Shaping their own surfboards, constructing their own homes, and coexisting with nature in harmony. With a unique rock score and breathtaking surfing sequences from some of the world's best surfers, Morning of the Earth is a must-see for both surfer s and film fans.
6. Five Summer Stories
This cult classic surf flick is packed with action and color.
7. The Forgotten Island of Santosha
It is a movie about surfers who find the perfect wave in a tropical paradise.
8. Crystal Voyager
The final segment, which was shot from the front of a surfboard to the accompaniment of Pink Floyd music, was a visual tribute to surfing.
9. Big Wednesday
Two friends from California decide to join the Vietnam War. One of them thinks there might be more to life than just hanging out on the beach and waxing his surfboard.
10. Beyond Blazing Boards
The original surf movie was filmed in Hawaii, Australia, California, Mexico and other exotic places. This film captures the feeling of riding waves.
11. North Shore
Matt Adler plays a man named Rick who moves to Hawaii to pursue his dream of being a professional wave rider after learning how to surf with local wave tanks.
He has a rocky start since surfing the seas is significantly different than what he's used to, but he quickly discovers a mentor in the renowned surfing instructor Chandler (Gregory Harrison) as well as a companion in Kiani (Nia Peeples).
12. Point Break
The only surf movie based on a book, this film tells the story of Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves), a federal agent who infiltrates a group of suspected bank robbers in Southern California.
But these aren't your typical crooks — they're thrill-seeking surfers led by the charismatic Bodhi (Patrick Swayze).
Things get complicated for Utah when he falls in love with Tyler (Lori Petty), one of the gang's female members.
13. The Green Iguana
The Green Iguana is a truly unique surf film. With Occy, Peter King, Sunny Garcia, Munga Barry, and Luke Egan, the Green Iguana takes you on an island tour.
14. The Endless Summer II
In this movie sequel, Bruce Brown visits different surfing destinations around the world. He is accompanied by two experienced surfers, Robert “Wingnut” Weaver and Patrick O'Connell.
The film also features windsurfing and bodyboarding.
15. Occy: The Occumentary
Cronulla grommet to world-renowned surfer–the life and times of Mark Occhilupo is a story that needs to be told, and this DVD does just that.
Occy's amazing surfing career is celebrated here in all its ups and downs, from his days as an adolescent surfer to his triumphant return to the sport.
It's no wonder this DVD has been named “Surfer Magazine Video of the Year”!
16. The Seedling
This 16mm feature is based on longboard waves and does not include any excessive distortion or turmoil.
I find it valuable because it talks about accessible waves that are familiar to many surfers.
This film is much more inspiring because of that. If you are a long boarder, you should buy it!
17. Thicker Than Water
Jack Johnson and Chris Malloy's documentary film about surfing, Thicker Than Water, was released in 2000.
The film features footage of surfers from different countries, including Australia, Indonesia, Hawaii, India, and Ireland.
Some of the most famous surfers are featured in the movie, such as Kelly Slater and Shane Dorian.
18. Momentum: Under The Influence
The Momentum Under the Influence surf film features some of the best young surfers from across the world.
19. The September Sessions
Jack Johnson's 2002 surf documentary, The September Sessions: The Tomorrowland Story (often called simply September Sessions), is the second film of his Moonshine Conspiracy series. It was shot in 16 mm Kodak stock on location in Costa Rica and Hawaii.
20. Billabong Odyssey
Some of the biggest waves in the world are surfed by people like Shawn Barron, Ken Bradshaw, and Mike Parsons. These waves can be 100 feet tall, and the surfers risk their lives to ride them.
If they can find a wave that is 100 feet tall and ride it, they will get a $500,000 prize.
21. Singlefin: Yellow
Singlefin Yellow is the globe-trotting story of a surfboard shared by friends, which serves as a reminder that happiness can be found in life's simplest joys: spending time with loved ones.
22. Step Into Liquid
Dana Brown's film Liquid is a documentary about surfing that features Dana Brown, the filmmaker's son. The film contains surfing footage from some of the world's biggest waves, as well as Pipeline and Vietnam beaches. This was Dana Brown's first solo production.
23. Blue Horizon
Jack McCoy, the world's most renowned surfing cinematographer, spends two years following Andy Irons and Dave Rastovich – two of the greatest surfers in the world.
Their different approaches to surfing showcases precisely why McCoy set out to make this documentary: to bring surf movies back to theaters where they belong. Blue Horizon offers beautiful shots of both athletes as well as an inside look at what goes into being a professional surfer competing at the highest levels.
24. Riding Giants
The documentary is about the 1950s evolution of surfing. It talks about how people started riding waves that were bigger and easier to handle. They did this by using lighter boards and tow-in surfing. The documentary also talks about how three different surfers contributed to this change. These surfers are Greg Noll, Jeff Clark, and Laird Hamilton.
25. Bra Boys
The Bra Boys are a surfer group that started in the 1990s from Maroubra, Sydney. The gang has gotten attention because of violence and possible links to organized crime, as well as some community work .
26. Castles in The Sky
The film, which was filmed in five countries over three years, examines the heart of the locations while the surfers explore them. This is a great way to experience new coastlines without leaving your chair.
27. A Deeper Shade of Blue
Jack McCoy explores the sport's ancient roots and the art of surfboard construction in this documentary.
28. View From A Blue Moon
The first-ever 4K surf film is View From a Blue Moon. The documentary showcases John Florence and his closest friends as they leave Oahu's North Shore to explore Florence's favorite surfing spots around the world.