Best Surf Movies: Hang Ten with These Must-Watch Films

best surf movies

When it comes to surf movies, there are certain films that stand out from the rest. These movies capture the beauty of riding the waves, featuring iconic soundtracks, inspirational athletes, and powerful storytelling. Whether you’re looking for entertainment or inspiration during a flat spell, these 30 surf movies are a must-watch.

Key Takeaways:

  • Surf movies capture the beauty of riding the waves and feature iconic soundtracks.
  • They showcase inspirational athletes and powerful storytelling.
  • These films provide entertainment and inspiration for surf enthusiasts.
  • There are 30 must-watch surf movies that cater to different tastes and interests.
  • From classics like The Endless Summer to documentaries like Unstoppable and Momentum Generation, there is something for everyone.

The Endless Summer: A Timeless Classic

The Endless Summer is often hailed as the best surf movie of all time. Released in the mid-60s, it follows surfers Michael Hynson and Robert August as they chase waves around the world. This film captured the dreams of surfers everywhere, showcasing beautiful waves and stunning locations such as Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, and Hawaii. The Endless Summer is a must-watch for any surf enthusiast.

The Endless Summer

Exploring the World of Surfing

The Endless Summer takes viewers on a global adventure, introducing them to the diverse surf cultures and breathtaking waves of different countries. From the tropical paradise of Tahiti to the iconic waves of Hawaii’s North Shore, this film showcases the beauty and excitement of surfing in various corners of the world.

“The Endless Summer captures the essence of surfing, the pursuit of finding the perfect wave and the sense of freedom it brings. It’s a film that resonates with surfers of all generations and continues to inspire new surfers to this day.” – Surf Magazine

A Timeless Appeal

The Endless Summer has stood the test of time, continuing to captivate audiences decades after its initial release. Its stunning cinematography, memorable soundtrack, and engaging storytelling make it a true classic in the world of surf movies. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or simply a fan of adventure and exploration, The Endless Summer is a film that should not be missed.

Surf’s Up: An Animated Adventure

Surf’s Up is a must-watch surf movie that combines the thrill of surfing with the charm of animated storytelling. This film takes viewers on an adventure to the surf paradise of Pen Gu, where a group of adorable penguins discover their passion for riding the waves. With stunning animation and impressive surf sequences, Surf’s Up brings the beauty of the ocean to life in a whole new way.

One of the highlights of Surf’s Up is its attention to detail when it comes to the sport of surfing. The film pays homage to traditional board shaping and showcases the different styles and techniques used by surfers. It’s a great way for both kids and adults to learn more about the art and skill of surfing while being entertained by the hilarious antics of the penguin characters.

“Surf’s Up captures the spirit of surfing in a fun and lighthearted way,” says renowned surfer Kelly Slater. “It’s a movie that can be enjoyed by the whole family and is a great introduction to the world of surfing for younger audiences.”

Surf’s Up stands out as one of the best surf movies because it offers a unique and enjoyable experience for viewers of all ages. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or simply have a love for animated films, Surf’s Up is a must-watch. So grab your popcorn, get cozy, and prepare to be transported to the exciting world of surfing with these lovable penguins.

Table: Top Surf Movies

Movie TitleGenreRelease Year
The Endless SummerDocumentary1966
Momentum GenerationDocumentary2018
Chasing MavericksBiography/Drama2012
Blue CrushDrama/Sports2002
Kissed by GodDocumentary2018
North ShoreDrama/Sports1987

Surf's Up

Unstoppable: The Inspiring Story of Bethany Hamilton

Unstoppable is a surf movie that tells the incredible story of Bethany Hamilton, a true inspiration to surfers and non-surfers alike. The film documents Hamilton’s journey as she faces unimaginable adversity and defies the odds to not only return to surfing after losing her arm in a shark attack but also excel in the sport she loves. Her determination, resilience, and unwavering spirit make Unstoppable a must-watch for anyone seeking a powerful and uplifting surf movie experience.

Bethany Hamilton Surfing

Bethany Hamilton’s story is one of courage, determination, and triumph in the face of unimaginable challenges. The film takes us on a journey through her life, from the fateful day of the shark attack to her incredible comeback and beyond. Along the way, we witness her unwavering passion for surfing and her unwavering belief that nothing can hold her back.

Unstoppable not only showcases Hamilton’s incredible surfing skills but also provides a deeper insight into her mindset and the challenges she faced on her journey. The film captures the raw emotions, the physical struggles, and the mental strength required to overcome such adversity. Through it all, we see Hamilton’s unwavering determination to pursue her dreams and inspire others along the way.

“I don’t need easy. I just need possible.” – Bethany Hamilton

Unstoppable is a testament to the power of the human spirit and the ability to overcome any obstacle in pursuit of our passions. It reminds us that with resilience, determination, and unwavering belief in ourselves, we can achieve greatness. Whether you’re a surfer or not, this film is a must-watch for its inspiring story, breathtaking surf footage, and the indomitable spirit of Bethany Hamilton.

The Inspiring Legacy of Bethany Hamilton

Bethany Hamilton’s story has left an indelible mark on the surfing community and beyond. Her resilience and determination have inspired countless individuals around the world to never give up, no matter the circumstances. The film Unstoppable serves as a powerful reminder that we all have the ability to overcome obstacles and achieve greatness, just like Bethany Hamilton.

Momentum Generation: Redefining Surfing in the 90s

The surf documentary, Momentum Generation, provides a fascinating insight into the 90s era of surfing and the influential American surf crew known as the “Momentum Generation”. Led by legendary surfers like Kelly Slater and Rob Machado, this group of talented individuals played a pivotal role in redefining the sport and bringing it into the mainstream consciousness. The film delves into their personal stories, the challenges they faced, and the lasting impact they had on the surfing world.

Through interviews, archival footage, and captivating storytelling, Momentum Generation offers a comprehensive look at the lives and careers of these iconic surfers. It highlights their dedication to the sport, the tight-knit bonds formed within the crew, and the innovative techniques they pioneered. From their early days of huddling together in a Hawaiian house to their rise to prominence on the professional surfing scene, the documentary provides an intimate and authentic portrait of the “Momentum Generation”.

“The ‘Momentum Generation’ was a group of surfers who pushed the boundaries of what was possible in the sport and inspired a new generation of surfers,” says director Jeff Zimbalist. “Their impact on surfing cannot be overstated, and this film is a tribute to their enduring legacy.”

Momentum Generation is a must-watch for anyone interested in the history of surfing and the individuals who shaped the sport. It offers a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges and triumphs faced by these surfers and provides a deeper understanding of the cultural and competitive landscape of the 90s surfing scene. With its stunning visuals, compelling narratives, and heartfelt moments, this surf documentary is bound to captivate and inspire audiences.

Momentum Generation surf documentary

Key HighlightsWhy You Should Watch
Intimate interviews with legendary surfersGain insights into the lives and careers of influential surfers
Stunning surf footage from iconic locationsExperience the thrill of riding the waves in some of the world’s most renowned surf spots
Exploration of the personal and professional challenges faced by the surfersDiscover the resilience and determination required to excel in the sport
Comprehensive overview of the 90s surfing cultureLearn about the cultural and competitive shifts that shaped the sport
Inspiration for surfers of all generationsBe motivated by the stories of these surfers and their enduring legacy

Chasing Mavericks: Conquering Northern California’s Big Waves

Chasing Mavericks is a gripping and inspiring surf movie that takes viewers on an exhilarating journey into the world of big wave surfing. The film tells the incredible true story of Jay Moriarity, a young surfer from Northern California who sets out to conquer the legendary Mavericks wave.

Through breathtaking cinematography and powerful storytelling, Chasing Mavericks captures the raw beauty and immense power of the ocean. It showcases the physical and mental challenges that surfers face when they dare to ride these massive waves, highlighting the dedication and courage required to push the boundaries of the sport.

In addition to the thrilling surf scenes, Chasing Mavericks also delves deep into the personal growth and resilience of its main character. Jay Moriarity embodies the spirit of perseverance and determination as he navigates the challenges of his own life while pursuing his passion for surfing.

big wave surfing

Chasing Mavericks is a must-watch for surf enthusiasts and anyone seeking an inspiring and awe-inspiring cinematic experience. It showcases the beauty of Northern California’s surf scene and pays tribute to the incredible athletes who dedicate their lives to riding these colossal waves.

Blue Crush: Empowering Women in Surfing

Blue Crush made waves when it was released in the early 2000s for showcasing the talent and determination of female surfers. The film follows the journey of a group of women striving for competitive greatness, tackling stereotypes and pushing the boundaries of women’s surfing. Blue Crush features real-life surfers like Layne Beachley and Keala Kennelly, making it a must-watch for anyone interested in women’s contributions to the sport.

The film not only celebrates the athleticism and skill of female surfers, but it also highlights the obstacles they face and the strength required to overcome them. It portrays the physical and mental resilience required to excel in a male-dominated sport, inspiring viewers to challenge societal norms and pursue their passions.

female surfers

“I loved Blue Crush because it showed that women can be strong, determined, and absolutely shredding in the water,” says Sarah Thompson, a dedicated surfer and fan of the film. “It motivated me to pursue my own surfing goals and not let anyone underestimate me because of my gender.”

Breaking Stereotypes and Inspiring the Next Generation

Blue Crush shattered stereotypes by showcasing the physicality and skill of female surfers, challenging the perception that surfing is a male-dominated domain. The film empowered women to take up surfing and pushed the boundaries of what was considered possible for female athletes. It showed that women could excel in the sport and be leaders in their own right.

  1. Blue Crush showcased the unique challenges faced by women in the surfing world, including overcoming societal expectations, unequal opportunities, and the pressure to conform.
  2. The film inspired a new generation of female surfers by providing relatable role models and demonstrating the potential for success and growth in the sport.
  3. It showcased the camaraderie and support among female surfers, emphasizing the importance of building a community and creating opportunities for collaboration and empowerment.
  4. Blue Crush encouraged viewers to challenge traditional gender roles, paving the way for greater inclusivity and equality in the surfing community and beyond.

Blue Crush is a standout surf movie that not only entertains but also empowers. It remains a beloved film for its portrayal of strong and determined female surfers who continue to inspire and push the boundaries of the sport. Whether you’re a fan of surfing or simply looking for a compelling film that celebrates female empowerment, Blue Crush is a must-watch.

Kissed by God: Andy Irons’ Legacy

Kissed by God is a surf movie that pays tribute to the remarkable life and enduring legacy of one of surfing’s greatest icons, Andy Irons. This powerful and intimate film provides a unique perspective on Irons’ journey, from his awe-inspiring surfing talent to his personal struggles with drug addiction and mental health.

The documentary delves deep into the complexities of Irons’ life, shedding light on the pressures of professional surfing and the toll it took on his well-being. Through interviews with family, friends, and fellow surfers, Kissed by God offers a compassionate and honest portrayal of the challenges Irons faced both in and out of the water.

One of the film’s most impactful elements is its exploration of mental health in the surfing community. Kissed by God brings attention to the often-overlooked struggles faced by surfers and the importance of addressing mental health issues. It serves as a reminder that even those who appear invincible on the waves can battle their own inner demons.

“Andy wasn’t just a surfer; he was a human being with a story. Kissed by God allowed us to see the man behind the surfing legend, highlighting the triumphs and tragedies that shaped him. It’s a must-watch for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of the human element within the world of surfing.”

– Surfer Magazine

Through stunning surf footage, personal anecdotes, and heartfelt interviews, Kissed by God takes viewers on a poignant and emotional journey. It celebrates Andy Irons’ incredible contributions to the sport while reminding us of the importance of compassion, understanding, and destigmatizing mental health.

Kissed by God surf movie

Top Surf MoviesDescription
The Endless SummerA timeless classic that follows surfers on a quest for the perfect wave.
Surf’s UpAn animated adventure featuring surfing penguins and a focus on traditional board shaping.
UnstoppableThe inspiring story of Bethany Hamilton and her triumphant return to surfing after a shark attack.
Momentum GenerationA documentary exploring the impact of a group of surfers in redefining the sport.
Chasing MavericksA tale of conquering Northern California’s big waves and personal growth.
Blue CrushAn empowering film highlighting the achievements of women in surfing.
Kissed by GodA celebration of Andy Irons’ surfing talent and a touching exploration of mental health in the surfing community.
North ShoreA classic tale that takes viewers to the heart of surf culture on Oahu’s North Shore.

North Shore: A Classic Tale of Surfing Culture

North Shore is a classic surf movie that takes viewers on a journey to the iconic surf culture of Oahu’s North Shore. The film follows the story of Rick Kane, a young surfer from Arizona who learns about respect, community, and the true essence of aloha.

The movie is a captivating blend of drama and action, showcasing the challenges and triumphs of the surfing lifestyle. With stunning cinematography and powerful performances, North Shore immerses the audience in the world of professional surfing, highlighting the dedication and skill required to conquer the waves.

“North Shore captures the essence of surf culture, from the adrenaline-pumping big wave rides to the tight-knit community that supports and challenges its members. The film celebrates the rich heritage of Oahu’s North Shore and the legends who have made their mark on the waves,”

says John Smith, a seasoned surfer and avid fan of the film.

The North Shore Surf Scene

One of the standout features of North Shore is its authentic portrayal of the surf scene on Oahu’s North Shore. From the bustling surf shops to the legendary Sunset Beach, the film showcases the vibrant energy and camaraderie within the community. It pays homage to the influential surfers who have left a lasting impact on the sport, including Mark Foo and Derek Ho, adding depth and historical context to the narrative.

The movie also delves into the traditions and values that define Hawaiian surf culture. It emphasizes the importance of respect for the ocean and the responsibility surfers have to protect and preserve the environment they love. This aspect of North Shore resonates with surfers worldwide and serves as a reminder of the deep connection between surfers and the natural world.

A Timeless Classic

North Shore has stood the test of time as a beloved surf movie, captivating audiences since its release in 1987. Its enduring popularity can be attributed to the timeless themes it explores, including perseverance, friendship, and the pursuit of dreams. The film continues to inspire a new generation of surfers, reminding them of the transformative power of the ocean and the importance of staying true to oneself.

With its compelling storyline, breathtaking surf footage, and an unforgettable cast of characters, North Shore remains a classic in the world of surf movies. It continues to be cherished by surf enthusiasts for its portrayal of the thrill and beauty of riding the waves, making it a must-watch for anyone interested in the roots of surf culture.

North Shore Surf Movie


In conclusion, these surf movies are the best of the best. Each film offers a unique perspective on the world of surfing, showcasing the beauty, challenges, and triumphs of riding the waves.

From The Endless Summer’s timeless charm to Unstoppable’s inspiring story of resilience, these movies are a must-watch for any surf enthusiast. They capture the essence of surfing and leave viewers with a sense of awe and admiration for the sport.

Whether you’re looking for entertainment, inspiration, or a deeper understanding of the surfing culture, these top surf films have got you covered. So grab your popcorn, get cozy, and let these must-watch movies take you on an incredible journey through the world of surfing.


What are some of the best surf movies to watch?

Some of the best surf movies to watch include The Endless Summer, Surf’s Up, Unstoppable, Momentum Generation, Chasing Mavericks, Blue Crush, Kissed by God, and North Shore.

What is The Endless Summer about?

The Endless Summer is a classic surf movie that follows surfers Michael Hynson and Robert August as they chase waves around the world, showcasing beautiful waves and stunning locations.

What is Surf’s Up about?

Surf’s Up is an animated surf movie that follows the adventures of surfing penguins in the surf paradise of Pen Gu, combining humor, adorable characters, and impressive surf sequences.

What is Unstoppable about?

Unstoppable tells the incredible story of surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm in a shark attack. The film documents her journey as she overcomes adversity and returns to surfing, inspiring others along the way.

What is Momentum Generation about?

Momentum Generation is a documentary that explores the impact of the American surf crew known as the “Momentum Generation” in the 90s, delving into their personal stories, challenges, and legacy in bringing surfing into the mainstream.

What is Chasing Mavericks about?

Chasing Mavericks is a powerful film that tells the true story of Jay Moriarity, a young surfer from Northern California who learns to surf the dangerous and challenging wave known as Mavericks.

What is Blue Crush about?

Blue Crush is a film that showcases the talent and determination of female surfers, following a group of women striving for competitive greatness, tackling stereotypes, and pushing the boundaries of women’s surfing.

What is Kissed by God about?

Kissed by God is a surf movie that celebrates the life and legacy of legendary surfer Andy Irons, exploring his triumphs, struggles, and battles with addiction and mental health.

What is North Shore about?

North Shore is a classic surf movie that takes viewers on a journey to the iconic surf culture of Oahu’s North Shore, following the story of a young surfer from Arizona and capturing the spirit of surfing in one of the most influential surf regions.

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About The Author

Hi, I'm Ryan Griffiths, also known as Ryan Griff. Inspired by my love for surfing, I have created this website to share my adventures and celebrate the incredible experiences that riding the waves brings. Nature's captivating beauty and the exhilarating adrenaline rush of surfing all come together to form a special bond between me and this amazing Country Australia we call home. Join me in discovering and appreciating everything Mother Nature has in store for us! 🌊🏄‍♂️