25 Best Surf Films Ever Made [Trailers]

The best surf films ever made is always up for debate, however certain movies stand out as the best surf films ever made that every surfer must see!

We have put together the 25 best surf films along with their trailer, so you can decide which one to watch next! Grab the popcorn and let's go!

Best Surf Films Summary

  • Endless Summer
  • North Of The Sun
  • Chasing Mavericks
  • Surfs Up
  • Point Break
  • North Shore
  • Soul Surfer
  • Kissed by God
  • Momentum Generation
  • Blue Crush
  • Under An Arctic Sky
  • Riding Giants
  • Surf Wise
  • Step Into Liquid
  • The Big Wednesday
  • The Ultimate Wave Tahiti
  • Vans - Sonic Souvenirs Vol 2
  • The Yin & Yang of Gerry Lopez
  • Over The Edge
  • Volcom - Psychic Migrations
  • Fish People
  • The Ductumentary
  • Trouble - Lisa Anderson
  • Ground Swell
  • The Life Of Kai Lenny

Okay lets get into surf films 1-25 all with a detailed descriptions and trailer for you to enjoy!

Have your own opinion on the best surf films of all time, let us know in the comments!

1. Best Surf Films: Endless Summer

In 1966, Bruce Brown's film "The Endless Summer" captured the essence of surfing like never before, revealing the exhilaration of riding nature's powerful waves and embracing a unique lifestyle. With stunning cinematography and a sense of adventure, it takes viewers on a journey of discovery and inspires a lifelong love for the sport.

2. Best Surf Films: North Of The Sun

Inge Wegge and Jørn Ranum spent nine months of cold, Norwegian winter in the isolated and uninhabited bay of a remote, arctic island by the coast of Northern-Norway, facing nothing but the vast Atlantic Ocean. There they built a cabin out of driftwood and other cast-off materials that washed up on shore, and ate expired food the stores would otherwise have thrown away. But the boys brought with them two items of utmost importance: Their surfboards - perhaps their biggest motivation for the arctic adventure. Because the remote bay holds a well kept secret; Some of the worlds finest surfing waves.

3. Best Surf Films: Chasing Mavericks

Chasing Mavericks is an exhilarating film that tells the true story of legendary surfer Jay Moriarity as he seeks to conquer the monstrous waves of Mavericks, one of the world's most treacherous surf spots. Filled with breath-taking surfing sequences and an inspiring narrative, it captures the courage, determination, and pursuit of dreams that define the surfing world.

4. Best Surf Films: Surfs Up

"Surf's Up" is an animated comedy that takes you on a wild and hilarious ride into the world of competitive surfing. Through the eyes of a young penguin named Cody Maverick, it delivers a delightful blend of humour, adventure, and heart-warming moments, all set against the backdrop of gnarly waves and unforgettable characters.

5. Best Surf Films: Point Break

Point Break is an adrenaline-fueled action film that follows an FBI agent who infiltrates a group of bank-robbing surfers. As he delves deeper into their world, he becomes entangled in a thrilling cat-and-mouse game, balancing his duty to the law with his growing admiration for the surf culture and the charismatic leader of the group.

6. Best Surf Films: North Shore

Knowing nothing of the local habits Rick runs into some trouble, but gets a room in the house of surf guru Chandler (Gregory Harrison) by chance. Here he learns the difference between "soul surfers" and those who do it for fame and money, all while catching the attention of a beautiful native girl. Surfs up in this fun and scenic film by writer-director William Phelps.

7. Best Surf Films: Soul Surfer

Soul Surfer is the inspiring true story of teen surfer Bethany Hamilton. Bethany lost her left arm in a shark attack and courageously overcame all odds to become a champion again, through her sheer determination and unwavering faith.

8. Best Surf Films: Kissed by God

Three-time world champion surfer Andy Irons quietly battled bipolar disorder and opioid addiction throughout his life - demons that millions of others combat daily. His previously untold story tears down myths associated with the diseases.

9. Best Surf Films: Momentum Generation

For the first time, surfing's legendary crew “Momentum Generation" have agreed to tell their story, giving the filmmakers unprecedented access to their inner circle, and hours of private archives.

10. Best Surf Films: Blue Crush

Anne Marie (Kate Bosworth) eats, drinks and sleeps surfing. With the help of her best friends Eden (Michelle Rodriguez), Lena (Sanoe Lake) and her rebellious sister Penny (Mika Boorem), she is totally focused on winning the toughest surf competition in Hawaii.

11. Best Surf Films: Under An Arctic Sky

A group of surfers along with photographer Chris Burkard, journey to Iceland's north coast in search of perfect waves during the largest storm in 25 years.

12. Best Surf Films: Riding Giants

Documentary from acclaimed filmmaker, Stacy Peralta (Dogtown and Z Boys), that details the origins and history of surf culture. There is no way of telling the story of big wave riding without telling the story of surfing itself, a sport that has become one of the world's most potent symbols of youth, adventure and freedom.

13. Best Surf Films: Surf Wise

The inspiring and tumultuous story of 85-year old surfer, health advocate and sex guru, Dr. Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz, his wife Juliette, and their nine children who were all home-schooled and raised in a small camper on the beach, where they surfed and had to adhere to the strict diet and lifestyle of animals in the wild

14. Best Surf Films: Step Into Liquid

Zigzagging from the waters off Ireland to Oahu's ripping North Shore, this documentary profiles the diverse and fascinating characters who have devoted their lives to catching the perfect wave.

15. Best Surf Films: The Big Wednesday

No matter what rolls in on the tides of time, California surfing buddies Matt, Jack, and Leroy stick together and they know they'll be ready when a rare 20-foot swell hits the coast at last.

16. Best Surf Films: The Ultimate Wave Tahiti

The Ultimate Wave Tahiti follows eleven-time World Champion surfer Kelly Slater and Tahitian surfer Raimana Van Bastolear as they explore the nature of waves and hunt for the ultimate wave-riding experience at the famed Pacific surf site of Teahupoo, Tahiti.

17. Best Surf Films: Vans - Sonic Souvenirs Vol 2

In the second instalment of this exploration, Sonic Souvenirs: Cotê di’Ivoire, Mikey is joined by Vans’ LeeAnn Curren and Alex Knost along the Ivory Coast of Africa. Through their travels, they are embedded in the origins of many regions’ cultures, spotlighting a variety of musical styles, instruments, dance, and deep-rooted traditions around creative expression. Nestled in smaller, niche communities, like the Hibiscus Coast, each region has its own ideas and interpretation of surfing, independent of existing perceptions or definitions.

18. Best Surf Films: The Yin & Yang of Gerry Lopez

From award-winning documentary filmmaker, Stacy Peralta comes Patagonia’s The Yin & Yang of Gerry Lopez, a film that lifts the veil on one of surfing’s most enigmatic heroes. While “Mr. Pipeline” is famously known for his calm demeanour in the tube, Gerry built his early career on cutthroat, aggressive surfing.

Gerry is as radical as he is Zen; he transcends categorization. He’s one of the most influential surfers and surfboard shapers of all time, an entrepreneur, a family man, a movie star, and a lifelong yogi who brought surfing to new frontiers. His influence on modern surfing is immeasurable, and his story is being told in full for the first time.

19. Best Surf Films: Over The Edge

As COVID-19 casts a cloud of global uncertainty, and at home, his personal life is changing course, Over the Edge follows big wave surfer Matt Bromley as he travels to the heaviest surf spots in the world, chasing the ride of his life. Matt Bromley’s transition from competitive surfing to chasing colossal waves was spurred more by a niggling inner voice than by any external influence. He felt that something was missing and set out to push his limits as a big wave surfer.

Competing since his junior years, it was at the age of seventeen that Matt first faced his fear of the unfamiliar and ferocious swells that batter the ‘Cape of Storms’. Here, Matt rode his first big wave on an old borrowed ‘gun’ and quickly developed an appetite for the heavy stuff, sending him on a lifelong pursuit of ocean giants. Over the Edge follows Matt’s two-year journey expanding the boundaries of his mental and physical ability through his surfing.

20. Best Surf Films: Volcom - Psychic Migrations

Over a year and a half in the making and featuring a cast of surfing’s most capable and compelling characters, anticipation is peaking for the release of Volcom Stone’s latest feature surf film, Psychic Migrations.

Following 2014’s True To This, a surf-skate-snow epic, the forthcoming Psychic Migrations is yet another inspired Veeco Production that builds on more than 20 years and 30 influential films from the world of Volcom. Directed by veteran surf filmmaker Ryan Thomas and shot on location in the West Indies, East Indies, Australia, Polynesia, and the Americas, the film weaves the physical expression of riding a rousing score of waves with a cerebral odyssey through the scapes and textures travelled to find them.

21. Best Surf Films: Fish People

Fishpeople tells the stories of a unique cast of characters who have dedicated their lives to the sea. Featuring Kimi Werner, Eddie Donnellan, Dave Rastovich, Matahi Drollet, Ray Collins and Lynne Cox.

22. Best Surf Films: The Ductumentary

Vans Presents The Ductumentary, A short-film revealing what is perhaps Joel Tudor's greatest contribution to surfing. Featuring Joel Tudor, Alex Knost, Tyler Warren, Ryan Burch, Jared Mell and more. Directed by Graham Nash and Reagan Ritchie.

23. Best Surf Films: Trouble - Lisa Anderson

Lisa Andersen is one of surfing’s few transcendent stars. 4x world champ and inductee into the Surfer Hall of Fame, she is a true surf icon. But this is not a story about surfing. It’s the story of a woman brave enough to be vulnerable. Andersen discovered surfing when she was 13, though it was not what her parents wanted. They felt the beach was dangerous.

Lisa did nothing to ease their concerns and eventually wound up in juvenile hall. Her father smashed her surfboard, so Lisa hatched an escape plan. She decided to go to Huntington Beach, leaving a note behind that read, “Going to California to become world surfing champion.” She was homeless before being taken in by an abusive local. Unlucky in relationships, she was abused often, and had to runaway time and again

24. Best Surf Films: Ground Swell

An in-depth look at the 2021-22 big wave season through the eyes of Nic Von Rupp, Kai Lenny, Matt Bromley, Torrey Meister and pioneering female surfer Bianca Valenti.

25. Best Surf Films: The Life Of Kai lenny

Welcome to the Life of Kai, a new series from Indigenous Films and presented by Tag Heuer that offers a behind the scenes look at Kai Lenny the most prodigious and famous American surfer!

Summing It Up: What To Do Now

Nice now you are set on the best surf films of all time, get that popcorn ready, put your feet up and enjoy! Unsure of surfing terms and slang, we got you!

If your interested in learning more about surfing discover our many guides that will inform you on your surfing journey. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook & Instagram to stay informed on our amazing surf shots and stories shared from surf creators around the world!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are considered the best surf films of all time?

The list of best surf films often includes classics like "Endless Summer," "Point Break," and "Riding Giants."

What criteria are used to determine the best surf films, and are there any recent releases that meet these standards?

Criteria for the best surf films may include cinematography, storytelling, and the portrayal of surfing culture. Recent films like "Under An Arctic Sky" and "Kissed by God" have received acclaim.

Where can one find a curated collection of the best surf films, and are there any streaming platforms dedicated to showcasing these movies?

Platforms like surf film festivals, streaming services like Netflix, and specialised websites often curate collections of the best surf films, offering enthusiasts a convenient way to explore the genre.

Can you recommend some of the best surf films for someone new to the surfing culture?

If you're new to surfing films, start with "Blue Crush," "Soul Surfer," and "North Shore" for an introduction to the world of surfing.

How has the genre of surf movies evolved over the years?

The evolution of surf movies has seen a shift in storytelling and cinematography. Modern additions to the list of best surf films include "Momentum Generation" and "Under An Arctic Sky."

Are there any hidden gems among the best surf films that may not be as well-known?

Certainly! Films like "North Of The Sun" and "The Yin & Yang of Gerry Lopez" are often considered hidden gems in the realm of the best surf films

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