Must See Surfing Movies

10 Must-See Surfing Movies That Will Stoke Your Stoke

10 Must-See Surfing Movies That Will Stoke Your Stoke

Surfing is more than just a sport; it’s a way of life. There's nothing quite like the sensation of catching a wave and feeling the power of the ocean beneath your feet. Surfing movies have become an essential component of surf culture, allowing viewers to experience the thrill of riding the waves from the comfort of their own home.

Whether you're a seasoned surfer or a newcomer to the sport, watching surfing films is an excellent way to gain inspiration, learn new techniques, and appreciate the beauty of wave riding. In this section, we’ve curated a list of our top ten must-see surfing movies of all time, guaranteed to stoke your stoke and ignite your passion for surfing.

Key Takeaways

  • Surfing movies offer a unique perspective on the world of wave riding
  • These films capture the thrill and spirit of surfing like never before
  • Watching surfing movies is an excellent way to gain inspiration and learn new techniques
  • We've curated a list of our top ten must-see surfing movies of all time
  • These films are guaranteed to stoke your stoke and ignite your passion for surfing

Ride the Cinematic Waves: The Best Surfing Movies of All Time

Surfing movies have always been an integral part of surf culture, capturing the excitement and beauty of wave riding in a way that no other medium can. In this section, we'll take a closer look at the best surfing movies of all time, celebrating the genre's remarkable contributions to pop culture, film history, and the sport of surfing itself.

Surfing Docuseries

There's no better way to learn about the origins and culture of surfing than through the solid storytelling of some expert filmmakers. Here are a few surfing docuseries that are well worth watching:

Movie TitleBrief Description
The Endless Summer (1966)A classic that follows two surfers as they travel the world in search of the perfect wave.
Step Into Liquid (2003)An engaging and beautifully-filmed documentary highlighting the nuances and complexities of surf culture across the globe.
Riding Giants (2004)From sea monsters to wipeouts, this documentary is a fascinating exploration of big wave surfing.

Cult Classics

From indie flicks to surf films that changed the game, here are some of the movies that have earned cult status among surfers and movie fans alike:

  • Big Wednesday (1978) - A coming-of-age story about a group of friends growing up in California in the '60s and '70s.
  • Point Break (1991) - A classic action thriller featuring Keanu Reeves as an FBI agent infiltrating a gang of surfer bank robbers.
  • Blue Crush (2002) - A romantic drama that follows a Hawaiian surfer as she trains for a big competition.

New Releases

The surf cinema genre is far from static, with plenty of fresh movies and series being released every year. Here are a few recent titles that have been making waves:

In the past few years, surfing movies have taken on deeper themes and opened up new perspectives on the sport.

  • Beyond the Surface (2013) - This documentary follows a group of women surfers as they travel to India to inspire and encourage young girls to take up the sport.
  • Surfwise (2007) - A fascinating documentary about the life of Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz, a famed surfer who quit the professional circuit to live a simple and nomadic lifestyle with his family.
  • Heavy Water (2019) - A thrilling action-adventure that follows a group of big wave surfers as they chase some of the largest and most powerful waves on the planet.

Whether you're a die-hard surfer or simply enjoy a good movie, there's something for everyone in the world of surf cinema. From iconic classics to eye-opening documentaries, these must-see surfing movies are sure to get you amped and ready to hit the waves.

Catching Mavericks: The Most Thrilling Big Wave Surfing Movies

Watching surfers ride giant waves is one of the most thrilling experiences for any surfing enthusiast. Big wave surfing requires immense bravery and skill, and the films that capture this world are truly awe-inspiring. In this section, we will explore some of the most exciting big wave surfing movies that take you to legendary spots like Mavericks.

Movie TitleDescription
Chasing MavericksThis biographical drama tells the inspiring story of Jay Moriarity, a young surfer who trains with legendary Mavericks surfers to prepare himself for the biggest waves in the world.
Step Into LiquidThis documentary showcases the world's most incredible surf spots, including Mavericks and the surfers who brave the conditions, including Laird Hamilton, a pioneer of big wave surfing.
Riding GiantsUsing incredible archival footage, director Stacey Peralta chronicles the history of big wave surfing, including the rise of Mavericks as a premier surf spot and profiles of the sport's most legendary riders.
View From a Blue MoonThis visually stunning film takes you on a journey to some of the most breathtaking surf destinations, including a stunning segment at Mavericks with John John Florence navigating the immense waves.

These movies are a must-watch for any big wave surfing enthusiast, showcasing the incredible power and beauty of these massive waves. Be prepared to hold your breath as you watch surfers take on some of the most challenging conditions in the world.

Embracing the Soul of Surfing: The Best Soul Surfing Movies

Surfing is not just about catching waves, it's a lifestyle that creates a unique bond between surfers and the ocean. Soul surfing, in particular, refers to the spiritual and emotional connection that surfers have with the water. It's a deeper level of connection that goes beyond just the physical aspect of the sport. Fortunately, there are films that showcase this beautiful connection between surfers and the ocean. The following are some of the best soul surfing movies that are guaranteed to inspire and uplift:

The Endless SummerBruce Brown1966
Barefoot AdventureBruce Brown1960
Crystal VoyagerDavid Elfick1973
One California DayMark Jeremias2007
Step into LiquidDana Brown2003
"Surfing... it's like the mafia. Once you're in - you're in. There's no getting out." - Kelly Slater

These films not only showcase the beauty of the sport but also the lifestyle and culture that surrounds it. They capture the essence of this unique connection and inspire audiences to appreciate the ocean beyond just its surface. Whether you're a seasoned surfer or a newbie who wants to get into the sport, these soul surfing movies offer a great way to get crystal-clear on the art of surfing.

Barrel Riding Excellence: The Top Pipeline Surfing Movies

If there's one break that has left an indelible mark on the global surfing scene, it's the Pipeline on Oahu's North Shore. Known for its steep drops, heavy barrels, and shallow reef, this wave has attracted some of the most skilled and fearless surfers in history.

Let's take a look at the top Pipeline surfing movies that showcase the beauty of this iconic surf spot:

Pipeline MastersJosh Pomer2006
Blue HorizonJack McCoy2004
Riding GiantsStacy Peralta2004
ThundercloudTim Bonython2018
Bustin' Down the DoorJeremy Gosch2008

Pipeline Masters captures the drama and excitement of the annual Pipeline Masters competition, providing a behind-the-scenes look at the event's history, competitors, and incredible waves. Meanwhile, Blue Horizon takes a more artistic approach, showcasing the beauty of surfing and the ocean through breathtaking cinematography.

Riding Giants gives viewers an in-depth look at big wave surfing, including a segment on Pipeline that highlights the dangerous yet thrilling nature of riding waves at this break. On the other hand, Thundercloud focuses on the legendary surfers who have tackled Pipeline over the years, using archival footage and interviews to tell their stories.

Finally, Bustin' Down the Door is a powerful documentary that explores the origins of professional surfing and the pivotal role that Pipeline played in its evolution. Featuring interviews with icons like Gerry Lopez and Shaun Tomson, this film is a must-watch for any surfing enthusiast.

Overall, these top surfing movies showcase the incredible riding and unique culture that make Pipeline one of the most revered destinations in the surfing world.

Conquering Teahupoo: Must-Watch Surfing Movies at the Infamous Break

Teahupoo, located off the coast of Tahiti, is one of the most challenging and deadly surf breaks in the world. The powerful and unpredictable waves have made it a favorite spot for big wave surfers, but it takes an incredible amount of skill and courage to tackle it.

Fortunately, some of the best surfing movies of all time have captured the drama and excitement of this legendary break. Here are some must-watch surf films that showcase the triumphs and struggles of surfers at Teahupoo:

Chasing MavericksThis biographical drama follows Jay Moriarty's journey to surf Mavericks and Teahupoo, depicting the mental and physical challenges he faced to achieve his dream.
Teahupoo: Code RedThis documentary captures the 2011 Billabong Pro Tahiti, which saw some of the most massive and dangerous waves ever at Teahupoo.
Point BreakWhile not a surfing movie per se, this action-packed thriller includes a memorable sequence where the main characters attempt to surf the gigantic waves at Teahupoo.
WhippedThis film showcases the stoke and camaraderie of a group of friends who travel to Tahiti to surf Teahupoo and other breaks, balancing incredible surf footage with hilarious antics.

These movies capture the thrill and the danger of surfing at Teahupoo, providing a glimpse into the challenges and rewards of tackling one of the world's most infamous waves. Whether you're an avid surfer or just a movie buff, these must-watch films will leave you in awe and appreciation of the fearless surfers who ride the monster waves at Teahupoo.

Riding The Perfect Wave: Top J-Bay Surfing Movies

J-Bay, also known as Jeffrey's Bay, is a surfer's paradise located in South Africa. It is one of the best waves on the planet, offering long, fast, and perfectly formed right-hand point breaks.

“It’s always been said as the closest thing to man walking on water.” - Kelly Slater

J-Bay has been the site of many famous contests and is frequently featured in surfing movies. Here are some of the best surfing movies that capture the incredible rides and unforgettable moments at this world-class surf spot:

The Endless Summer1966Bruce Brown
Bustin' Down the Door2008Jeremy Gosch
Dear Suburbia2012Kai Neville
View From A Blue Moon2015Blake Vincent Kueny
Let's Be Frank2016Peter Hamblin

These surfing movies showcase the best rides and the most dramatic moments at J-Bay. With incredible cinematography, epic soundtracks, and legendary surfers, they capture the magic of this iconic surf spot.

Exploring Hossegor: The Best Surfing Movies at Europe's Mecca

Hossegor is a picturesque seaside town on the southwest coast of France and is considered the surf capital of Europe. This vibrant surf destination attracts surfers from all over the world, thanks to its consistent waves, beautiful beaches, and welcoming atmosphere.

There have been several surfing movies that have been filmed at Hossegor that capture the energy, style, and unique character of this amazing place. These movies bring to life the surf culture and highlight the passion and commitment of the surfers who flock to Hossegor year-round.

Movie TitleDescription
Chapter OneChapter One is an award-winning film that explores the world of professional surfing and captures the breathtaking beauty of Hossegor. It features professional surfers Mick Fanning, John Florence, and Kelly Slater, among others.
Se7en Signs: FranceSe7en Signs: France is a European surf movie that showcases the diverse landscapes and different waves of the French coast, including Hossegor. It features local surfers like Marc Lacomare, Joan Duru, and William Aliotti, and is shot in a dynamic and visually striking style.
The Endless Winter: IIThe Endless Winter II is a documentary exploring the history of European surfing. It features Hossegor as a central location, showcasing its unique surf culture and the impact it has had on the evolution of European surfing.

Whether you're planning a trip to Hossegor or simply interested in the surf culture, these movies are a must-see. They offer a glimpse into the stunning landscapes, vibrant community, and incredible waves that Hossegor has to offer.

Streaming Surf Culture: The Best Surfing Movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime

If you're in the mood to watch some surfing movies and don't know where to start, we've got you covered. We've put together a list of the best surfing movies that you can stream on Netflix and Amazon Prime right now.

Best Surfing Movies on Netflix

Netflix is home to some of the most epic surf movies, and here are some of our favorites:

  1. The Endless Summer
  2. Step Into Liquid
  3. Chasing Mavericks
  4. Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable
  5. Resurface

Best Surfing Movies on Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime also has some fantastic surfing movies that you can stream right now:

  1. Riding Giants
  2. View From a Blue Moon
  3. North Shore
  4. Swell
  5. Distance Between Dreams

Whether you're in the mood for a classic film like The Endless Summer or want to watch the thrilling Chasing Mavericks, you'll find something that will satisfy your craving for surfing movies on these streaming platforms. So grab some popcorn and get ready for an unforgettable surf movie experience from the comfort of your home.

Surfing Movies for All: From Beginners to Experts and Families

Surfing movies are not only for seasoned surfers but also for beginners and families. They can inspire you, teach you, and give you a deeper appreciation for the sport. Here are some recommendations of the best surfing movies suitable for all skill levels:

Best Surfing Movies for Beginners

Movie TitleDescription
Step Into LiquidA documentary that introduces viewers to the basics of surfing while also showcasing some of the best waves on the planet.
Blue CrushA Hollywood movie that centers around three women who are learning to surf in Hawaii.
Riding GiantsA documentary that traces the history of surfing while also teaching viewers about the different aspects of the sport.

Best Surfing Movies for Experts

Movie TitleDescription
The Endless SummerA classic surfing documentary that follows two surfers as they travel the world in search of the perfect wave.
Momentum GenerationA documentary that chronicles the rise of a group of surfers who revolutionized the sport in the 1990s.
Bra BoysA documentary that explores the surfing culture in a Sydney suburb and the challenges faced by a group of surfers known as the "Bra Boys."

Best Surfing Movies for Kids and Families

  • Surf's Up: An animated movie that features a young penguin who dreams of becoming a pro surfer.
  • Chasing Mavericks: A Hollywood movie that features a young boy who is trained by a legendary surfer to ride the big waves at Mavericks.
  • The Ultimate Wave Tahiti: A documentary that takes viewers on an immersive journey through French Polynesia while teaching them about the science of waves and the culture of surfing.

Surf Movie Recommendations

If you're looking for more surfing movie ideas, check out these top-rated surf movies:

  • Point Break: A Hollywood action movie about an FBI agent who goes undercover to infiltrate a gang of surfers who may be bank robbers.
  • The Shaper: A documentary that follows a surfboard shaper in Hawaii as he creates custom boards for some of the world's best surfers.
  • Billabong Odyssey: A documentary that follows a group of surfers as they attempt to ride some of the biggest waves in the world.

Whether you're a beginner, an expert, or a family, there's a surfing movie out there that will inspire and entertain you. Start your surf movie collection today and experience the stoke of surfing from the comfort of your own home.


Surfing movies are an excellent way to ignite your passion for the sport and provide a unique perspective into the world of wave riding. From exhilarating big wave sessions to soulful journeys, these films have become classics in the surf cinema genre.

Whether you're a die-hard surfer or simply a lover of captivating stories, these must-see surfing movies are sure to leave you stoked and craving for more wave-filled adventures. So, grab some popcorn, curl up on the couch, and get ready to travel the world and experience the thrill of surfing through these incredible films.

Whether you're a beginner looking to learn more about the sport or an expert seeking inspiration, we've got you covered with our surf movie recommendations suitable for all skill levels. We've also highlighted films that are entertaining and meaningful for families, making them perfect for a movie night with loved ones.

And if you're looking for the best surfing movies available to stream online, we've curated a list of the top-rated surf movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime. So, sit back, relax, and get ready to ride the cinematic waves.

This article was updated on December 30, 2023

Mike "The Wave Rider" Thompson is the heart and soul behind A Santa Cruz native, he's been surfing since age six and combines his love for the ocean with environmental advocacy. His site offers a rich blend of surf spot guides, gear reviews, and conservation insights. Mike's annual surf retreats and community spirit make him a beloved figure in the global surfing community and a champion for marine preservation.