February 19, 2020 4 min read

When you feel the need to reconnect with surfing, but you’re unable to hit the beach, you can turn to inspiring surf movies as a consolation.

8 Inspiring surf movies that every ocean enthusiast needs to watch. 
They can teach you about your favorite water sport, inspire you to be better at it, and give you a reason to keep on doing it. We’ve put together a list of 8 inspiring surf movies you have to watch in 2020. .

Morning of The Earth (1971)

If you’re looking for classics, this movie is a must-watch.This movie portrays surfers as being one with nature and living in perfect harmony with the world surrounding them.

The story covers the journey of surfers who are:

  • exploring the coasts of Australia, Bali, and Hawaii
  • making their own surfboards
  • making their own homes

The emphasis is on the deep connection between a man and the ocean as well as spirituality you can only find in the natural world.

Riding Giants (2004) 

Every surfer needs to understand the roots and the history of surf culture. This is what the 2004 documentary Riding Giants covers. The documentary is directed and narrated by Stacy Peralta, a former surfer. It focuses on the culture of riding big waves and explores the origin of surfing.

It features names such as Greg Noll, the pioneer of big wave surfing, Jeff Clark who surfed the Mavericks alone for 15 years, and Laird Hamilton, a famous contemporary surfer.

The Endless Summer (1966)

This is another brilliant and inspiring surf documentary. It was directed by Bruce Brown, who was a former surfer himself. The story follows two surfers, who go on a surfing trip around the globe. They visit astonishing destinations:
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Tahiti
  • Hawaii
  • Senegal
  • Ghana
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa

They’re chasing the summer season around the world and exploring new surf locations that haven’t been discovered yet.

Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable (2019)

If you know anything about surfing, you’ve heard about Bethany Hamilton. At the age of 13, Bethany survived a shark attract in which her arm was bitten off. However, that didn't stop her from returning to professional surfing.

This inspiring surf movie is a story about falling down and rising back up and the power of determination. You’ll be inspired by her story, learning about her struggles, recovery, and winning multiple major surf competitions.

Surfwise (2007)

This fascinating surf movie will introduce you to Doc Paskowitz and his wife, who live their lives far from the conventional. They raised their nine children in a 24-foot camper, to escape the stress of modern living. They traveled around the continent, surfing, enjoying life, and spending quality time as a family.

They were free from all conventions, putting emphasis on physical and mental health instead of the material world or the typical measures of success.

View From A Blue Moon (2015)

The first-ever surf movie shot in 4k has so much to offer for all you surf lovers and nature enthusiasts. The movie follows a world-famous surfer John Florence and his friends from his home on the North Shore of Oahu.

Oahu is an island in the Central Pacific and is a part of the Hawaiian island chain. Every shot of this movie is an absolute treat for the eyes and you won't be able to take yours off the screen.

From Oahu, Florence goes on to visit some of his favorite surfing spots all over the globe and takes you on an adventure you won’t forget. This movie will inspire you to keep surfing, explore new surfing locations, and keep on traveling to find the best waves.

Blue Crush (2002)

If you’re looking for a surf movie with a plot and a bit of a romantic spin, Blue Crush is a great choice. The movie is a bit dramatic and comical, but it portrays female surfers, and you don’t see that very often.

It’s a story about friendship and being there for one another. The romantic twist adds even more entertainment to the picture, but the best part of this movie isn’t the plot. You'll be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery and breathtaking waves that the movie portrays.

Waveriders (2008)

We’ll wrap this list up with yet another surf documentary that’s worth watching. The movie is directed by Joel Conroy and produced by Margo Harkin and it focuses on the Irish roots of surfing. The main focus of the movie is George Freeth.

Freeth was an Irish-Hawaiian surfer who popularized the sport in California and earned the title of “the father of modern surfing”. You’ll have to watch the movie to learn the rest, but trust us, it’ll be worth your time.

And the best for last


Come Hell or High Water travels to oceans around the world showcasing body surfing's characters, pioneers, innovators along with the simplicity and beauty of the sport. It's about taking a breath and kicking your feet in the big blue sea. The movie, shot mainly on 16-millimeter film spans the globe from Tahiti to Fiji, to Montana, Hawaii and California. The movie dives into the underground sport that most people know little about. Not only does Come Hell or High Water have incredible underwater imagery, it will wrench your heart as well as make you laugh! A one of kind film, Come Hell or High Water has already won Best Film and Best Cinematography at the London and New York Surf Film Festivals.

Final Thoughts
Whether you’re looking for inspiration or are interested in the history of surfing, these surf movies might just be what you’re looking for. They’ll give you insight into the development of surfing and teach you about the people who weren't afraid to take risks.

So, there you have it. If you still haven’t seen all of the movies from our list, get ready for surf movie nights. You’ll be amazed by the stories these movies follow, as well as the beauty of surfing portrayed from different angles.

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Guest Blogger Bio: Marques Coleman is a nature enthusiast and a water sports expert. He’s been in the world of water sports since the earliest age, learning about different disciplines, equipment, locations, and techniques. Fascinated by the world of water sports, he writes about his findings and observations, sharing it with the rest of the world. He works as a writer at Studicus and provides editing services at Grab My Essay and Best Essay Education.

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