Do you want to get stoked for your next great surfing adventure? Thinking about coming to Costa Rica to catch some tasty waves? Work down the list of these ten great surfing movies and you’ll be itching to get here as soon as you can!
1. The Endless Summer
It’s 1966 and the Southern California surf culture is on the move, leaving the beaches around LA and heading out into the world on a mission to spread the gospel of surfing and find the world’s best waves. Universally considered to be the best full length movie about surfing ever made. Gorgeously shot and iconic.
Running time: 90 minutes
2. Riding Giants
A comprehensive look at the history and culture of surfing combining interviews and archival footage with jaw-dropping cinematography. The personalities of the sport come to life as noted director Stacy Peralta (Dogtown and the Z Boys) delves into the meaning of surf culture to those who live it.
Running time: 101 minutes
3. A Brokedown Melody
A surfing documentary focused on surfing. Avoiding the usual extras (girls in bikinis, fast cars, clowning around the campfire), this film concentrates on the experience of surfing from joining the line up, to catching the wave, to shooting the curl. Terrific locations. Beautiful cinematography. Great underwater footage.
Running time: 55 minutes
4. Point Break
The best and only surfing/crime thriller. Combining great action sequences with the story of an FBI agent first infiltrating, and then becoming seduced by adrenalin-junkie surf culture, Point Break careens along at top speed, carrying the viewer along with it. A thrill ride both in and out of the water.
Running time: 117 minutes
5. Castles in the Sky
A candy box of tasty surf spots from around the world. Filmed in five countries over three years, this film examines awesome locations that most of us can only dream of. Some of the world’s best surfers ride jaw dropping waves in hard to get to, out of the way places. If this doesn’t get you pumped to hit the surf, nothing will.
Running time: 54 minutes
6. Step into Liquid
Director Dana Brown gathers up top surfers like Laird Hamilton and Dan Malloy and heads off to beaches from Ireland to Vietnam to showcase their awesome skills and examine what makes them tick. Great interview footage and dazzling images of top-notch surfers will inspire you to greater feats on the waves.
Running time: 88 minutes
7. Big Wednesday
Unreleased to theaters when it came out in the 1970’s, Big Wednesday gained a cult following in the 80’s when it was aired on cable TV. The story of three surf brahs from SoCal whose endless summer is brought to an abrupt halt when they are drafted into the Vietnam War. Great surfing footage and a compelling storyline.
Running time: 120 minutes
Oh so cute and innocent, Gidget was the film that introduced much of the world to the surfing back in 1959. A vintage gem, it tells the story of a sweet tomboy of a girl who finds love and happiness with a bunch of likeable surf bums on a beach in Southern California. You will be tempted to sneer, but ultimately you will be charmed.
Running time: 95 minutes
9. Thicker Than Water
An exhilarating combination of music and motion, surfer/musician Jack Johnson takes up the camera and heads out with primo shredders like Kelly Slater and Shane Dorian to awesome surfing spots around the world. Johnson’s laidback music plays under delicious images of great surfers in cool locations.
Running time: 45 minutes
10. Blue Crush
Three lovely girls in bikinis can’t get enough of surfing the coastline of Hawaii until life and love get in the way. Blue Crush will never win any awards for writing or acting, but this franchise represents the last, and most recent time that the sport got the full Hollywood treatment and is still worth watching.
Running time: 105 minutes