25 Best Surfing Films

by jakezlotnick | created - 01 Jun 2011 | updated - 05 Feb 2016 | Public

A grouping of Surf movies, documentaries, and productions by Hollywood. Comments/Recommendations welcome below. List of movies not recognized on IMDB:

5'5"x19 1/4" (also see redux)

Momentum Under the Influence

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1. The Endless Summer (1966)

Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary, Sport

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 colorful local characters.

Director: Bruce Brown | Stars: Robert August, Michael Hynson, Lord James Blears, Bruce Brown

Votes: 4,519

2. Step Into Liquid (2003)

PG | 88 min | Documentary, Sport

72 Metascore

Surfers and secret spots from around the world are profiled in this documentary.

Director: Dana Brown | Stars: Laird John Hamilton, Layne Beachley, Dan Malloy, Robert August

Votes: 2,458 | Gross: $3.67M

3. Riding Giants (2004)

PG-13 | 105 min | Documentary, History, Sport

80 Metascore

Documentary detailing the origins and history of surf culture.

Director: Stacy Peralta | Stars: Laird John Hamilton, Darrick Doerner, Dave Kalama, Jeff Clark

Votes: 4,115 | Gross: $2.28M

4. Surfing Hollow Days (1961)

Not Rated | 84 min | Documentary

The fourth movie Bruce Brown made travels to Mexico, California and Florida, along with a trip to Australia and Hawaii with Phil Edwards. Features a fifteen-foot shark checking the line-up ... See full summary »

Director: Bruce Brown | Stars: Bruce Brown, Wayne Miyata

Votes: 44

5. Thicker Than Water (2000 Video)

45 min | Documentary

Thicker Than Water is a 2000 documentary surf film directed by singer/songwriter Jack Johnson and his film school friend Chris Malloy. It shows surfing footage from different locations like... See full summary »

Directors: Jack Johnson, Chris Malloy, Emmett Malloy | Stars: Raimana Boucher, Saxon Boucher, Timmy Curran, Shane Dorian

Votes: 274

6. Peel: The Peru Project (2006 Video)

Not Rated | 74 min | Documentary

Wes Brown and TJ Barrack take their film crew to the rugged deserts and jungles in Peru with somew of the Worlds best surfers.

Directors: T.J. Barrack, Wes Brown | Stars: Randy Bonds, Jesse Colombo, Magoo De La Rosa, Mark Healey

Votes: 15

7. A Brokedown Melody (2004)

Not Rated | 56 min | Documentary, Sport

A Brokedown Melody explores the times, travels and experiences of a tribe of surfers who search for the spark of life and look to pass it on to the younger generation. The film follows ... See full summary »

Director: Chris Malloy | Stars: Mark Cunningham, Tom Curren, CJ Hobgood, Jack Johnson

Votes: 224

8. Big Wednesday (1978)

PG | 120 min | Drama, Sport

The lives of some California surfers from the early 1960s to the 1970s.

Director: John Milius | Stars: Jan-Michael Vincent, William Katt, Gary Busey, Patti D'Arbanville

Votes: 5,313

9. Castles in the Sky (2010)

Not Rated | 53 min | Documentary, Sport

Filmed in five countries over three years, the documentary delves into the heart of the locations while the surfers travel through them with a sense of open-minded awe. With never-before ... See full summary »

Director: Taylor Steele | Stars: Craig Anderson, Timmy Curran, Rob Machado, Pete Mendia

Votes: 114

Also See "Momentum", another one of Taylor Steele's best. Its not listed in IMDB but it had a huge influence on the way surf is today.

10. The Endless Summer 2 (1994)

TV-14 | 109 min | Documentary, Adventure, Sport

Bruce Brown, king of surfing documentaries, returns after nearly thirty years to trace the steps of two young surfers to top surfing spots around the world. Along the way we see many of the... See full summary »

Director: Bruce Brown | Stars: Patrick O'Connell, Robert 'Wingnut' Weaver, Robert August, T.J. Barron

Votes: 1,660 | Gross: $2.16M

12. Morning of the Earth (1971)

The film portrays 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.

Director: Albert Falzon | Stars: Stephen Cooney, Terry Fitzgerald, Barry Kanaiaupuni, Gerry Lopez

Votes: 109

13. Point Break (1991)

R | 122 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

58 Metascore

An F.B.I. Agent goes undercover to catch a gang of surfers who may be bank robbers.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow | Stars: Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Gary Busey, Lori Petty

Votes: 133,063 | Gross: $43.22M

14. Blue Crush (2002)

PG-13 | 104 min | Drama, Romance, Sport

61 Metascore

As a hard-core surfer girl prepares for a big competition, she finds herself falling for a football player.

Director: John Stockwell | Stars: Kate Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez, Matthew Davis, Sanoe Lake

Votes: 28,097 | Gross: $40.39M

15. Single Fin Yellow (2005 Video)

110 min | Sport

South bay shaper and surfer, Tyler Hatzikian, shapes a single fin, yellow longboard and sends it on an around the world tour to some of the best surfers on earth, who surf it, then pass it on, until it makes its way back to Tyler.

Director: Jason Baffa | Star: Daize Shayne

Votes: 41

A South Bay shaper recreates a classic surfboard and sends it off to some of his friends in various locations, where they take the Single fin yellow into some of the best waves on the planet.

16. Soul Surfer (2011)

PG | 112 min | Biography, Drama, Family

53 Metascore

Teenage surfer Bethany Hamilton overcomes the odds and her own fears of returning to the water after losing her left arm in a shark attack.

Director: Sean McNamara | Stars: AnnaSophia Robb, Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt, Carrie Underwood

Votes: 40,564 | Gross: $43.85M

17. Lords of Dogtown (2005)

PG-13 | 107 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

56 Metascore

The film follows the surf and skateboarding trends that originated in Venice, California during the 1970's.

Director: Catherine Hardwicke | Stars: Heath Ledger, Emile Hirsch, Victor Rasuk, Johnny Knoxville

Votes: 48,295 | Gross: $11.01M

18. The Drifter (I) (2009)

60 min | Drama, Sport

A surfer is trying to identify the rhythm of his soul in the surrounding world. He uses travel as a tool which allows him to discover himself.

Director: Taylor Steele | Stars: Rob Machado, Kelly Slater

Votes: 263

19. Chasing Mavericks (2012)

PG | 116 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

45 Metascore

When young Jay Moriarity discovers that the mythic Mavericks surf break, one of the biggest waves on Earth, exists just miles from his Santa Cruz home, he enlists the help of local legend Frosty Hesson to train him to survive it.

Directors: Michael Apted, Curtis Hanson | Stars: Jonny Weston, Gerard Butler, Elisabeth Shue, Abigail Spencer

Votes: 28,440 | Gross: $6.00M

20. Unsalted: A Great Lakes Experience (2005)

57 min | Sport

One part obsession, one part addiction and an unending quest for adventure makes Great Lakes surfers a truly rare breed. Add 40-knot winds, 15-foot waves and rigid temperatures to a ... See full summary »

Director: Vince Deur | Stars: Joe Curren, Bron Heussenstamm, Colin McPhilips, Colin McPhillips

Votes: 15

If you haven't heard of this one you should get on it. Its about guys who charge solid waves on the Great Lakes in the middle of the winter.

21. Keep Surfing (2009)

94 min | Documentary

A fascinating look at Munich's legendary river-surfing community, a group of six very different characters who all share a passion for going against the flow.

Director: Bjoern Richie Lob | Stars: Dieter Deventer, Steffen Dittrich, Mark Steffan Gassner, Markus Knörringer

Votes: 187

Another fresh water surf film about surfing in rivers and some tidal bores. Really cool German film definitely worth checking out.

22. The Present (I) (2009)

Not Rated | 75 min | Documentary

A wide and varied journey into the here and now of surfing, on this strange and beautiful watery planet.

Director: Thomas Campbell | Stars: Ry Craike, Chris DelMoro, Chelsea Georgenson Hedges, Danny Hess

Votes: 15

Kind of a modernized Morning of the Earth with some chill narration and incredible alaia surfing. Some good laughs as well. Also check out The Seedling and Sprout

23. Sipping Jetstreams: An Adventure in Life (2006 Video)

Not Rated | 40 min | Sport

Film and Book by Taylor Steele and Dustin Humphrey From the markets and souks of Marrakech in Morocco to the blues of the Atlantic in Barbados, from Japan to Cuba, Italy, Hong Kong, and ... See full summary »

Director: Taylor Steele

Votes: 50

24. Dark Fall (I) (2010)

Not Rated | 73 min | Documentary

A look into a year in the life of New Jerseys best surfers as they brave the different seasons.

Director: Alex DePhillipo | Star: Andrew Gesler

Votes: 12

Probably the best surf movie to be shot on the East Coast, Dark Fall highlights the lives of surfers from New Jersey. If you think there are no waves on the east coast, then you are mistaken.

25. A Fistful of Barrels (2006 Video)

48 min | Sport

A FISTFUL OF BARRELS is the first surf film of its kind...it wont be the last! Seven Films Presents A FISTFUL OF BARRELS SOMEWHERE IN MEXICO...The ASP held the Rip Curl Search WCT SOMEWHERE... See full summary »

Stars: Andy Irons, Cory Lopez, Kelly Slater

Votes: 5

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