Adorable surfers, exotic locations, big waves, blue water and laid-back lifestyles—a good surf movie will warm you up faster than you can say “spring break”. Get started with these fascinating surf docs:
This film will give you the background on surfing and includes plenty of nostalgic Hawaiiana before launching into modern surfing as defined by greats such as Laird Hamilton and Micky Munoz. You’ll learn why surfers are driven to risk their lives riding waves over five stories high.
Step Into Liquid
Once you’ve got the history of surfing down, you’re ready for this multi-location documentary that will transport you to the beaches of Tahiti, Hawaii, California and Australia. If you’re looking for pure escapism, this is the movie for you.
This quintessential surf documentary follows wave riders on a round-the-world surf trip. You’ll visit Africa, Polynesia, California, and Hawaii as you get a sense of how the surf craze got rolling in the 60s.
The Arena: North Shore
Every winter network channels broadcast the ultimate surfing contest on the North Shore of Oahu. This documentary will help you understand how surfing is scored and why Pipeline is one of the most dangerous waves in the world.
If you’re done with fact and ready for some fiction, Blue Crush is as close to a surfing chic flick as you’re ever going to get. Finally, the ladies get in on surfing action with this feel-good underdog story about three friends who want to become professional surfers. Plenty of gratuitous Hawaiian scenery and luxury hotels.
Plenty of fictional dramas are filmed on beaches around the world, here are some classics sure to be worth watching again:
What do you get when you combine surfing, bank robbers, Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze? A classic adrenaline-packed flick full of surf stunts and gorgeous scenery.
Speaking of adrenaline, the aerial shots of Key West’s turquoise and white beaches are reason enough to re-watch this 1994 blockbuster. This movie happens to have an excellent sound track that includes 90s icons Toad the Wet Sprocket and INXS.
Sure you’ve seen it. But if you haven’t seen it recently, it’s time to watch it again.
Don’t miss this often overlooked movie that features Mathew Modine and Jennifer Grey trying to take back the world’s biggest sailing prize from the Australians. If you dream of sailing, you’ll rewind more than a few scenes.
It’s 1941 in Hawaii, the Japanese are about to bomb Pearl Harbor and change the course of history. Meanwhile, on the beach, hunky Burt Lancaster and saucy Deborah Kerr roll around in the surf. Romantic and nostalgic, go ahead and make yourself a pitcher of classic cocktails to go with this Academy Award-winning movie.
It’s Elvis! And he’s wealthy and bored. It’s hard to decide what’s better in this movie: The scenery, the goofy costumes, the music or the plot. Go ahead and enjoy it anyway.
It’s Elvis again! And this time he’s wealthy, bored and wants to be a surf bum. Part of the allure of this movie are the scenes of the now-defunct Dole pineapple plantation.