Rainy day? Stuck in bed with tonsillitis? Had a bad session and wanting some inspiration for next time? You can’t be on the waves 24/7, but when you’re stuck on the couch, you can keep the surf party going. Grab your popcorn and the comfiest spot in the house. These fun surf movies have got you covered.
The Endless Summer (1966)
The concept of this seminal ‘60s surf doc is every beach bum’s fantasy: If you were free from cares, you could theoretically follow summer year-round, from California to Cape Town, hitting all the best spots along the way. The film has inspired generations and popularized now-famous surf spots. Check it out when you’re looking for a good vintage vibe and a classic surf rock soundtrack, as supplied by the Sandals.
Riding Giants (2004)
For the brave and crazy, bigger is better. If you’ve ever wondered how the extreme side of surf culture developed, look no further. This unique doc traces the evolution of big wave surfing from the ‘50s through the early 2000s when the film was made. Featuring pioneers such as Laird Hamilton, known for the innovation of tow-in surfing, this wild ride will inspire you to go big or go home.
North of the Sun (Nordfor Sola) (2012)
It’s a cool (or cold) take on the meaning of perfect waves. The two twenty-something documentarians who created the film spent their winter in Northern Norway. Surfing. Because despite the ice and snow, despite the past-expiration food they subsisted on, despite the absence of amenities, the waves in this far flung place are worth writing home about. Good inspiration to throw your wetsuit on and get out there, no matter how chilly the weather.
Blue Crush (2002)
We all have our guilty pleasure moments, and Blue Crush serves up a combination of good surf cinematography, teen romance, and girl power, all with a fun kick of early millennium nostalgia. Sure, Kate Bosworth and crew will remind you that high school movies are rarely realistic. But you know you want to kick back with some Milk Duds and enjoy this light, easy-to-digest flick.
Point Break (1991)
If you get to combine a crime thriller with a surf movie, you’re doing something right. FBI agent Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) grabs his board to infiltrate a gang of surf fiends/suspected bank robbers. With plenty of action, both on the water and on the streets, you get your fix of hard-to-believe plot devices and gnarly waves all in one place.
Soul Surfer (2011)
A soul surfer rides the waves not for competitive glory but for the sheer joy of the sport. Bethany Hamilton is a soul surfer extraordinaire. After losing her arm to a shark attack, she returned to the waves using a whole new sense of balance and ensuring her place as one of the most inspiring modern athletes. The biopic detailing her triumph is a great watch when you’re craving a tale of feeling-good perseverance.