Top 10 Best Surfing Movies Every Surfer Needs To Watch
The search for the perfect wave never stops, and sometimes, the search can take you anywhere from the hottest to the coldest parts of the world and even in shark-infested waters.
Also, the endless pursuit of the best wave brings out unique and compelling stories about life, survival, and determination. But that’s part of the thrill, isn’t it?
So here are the top 10 best surfing movies that tell different stories about the sea and surfing.
1. Point Break
Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, FBI, and surfing? Get yourself comfortable because you are in for a ride. If you have not already seen this film, then this is a soft nudge, a gentle push to make you go see it.
This movie is peak Hollywood with its flashy robbery sequences, perfectly timed sexiness, and the adventure of seeing Keanu Reeves practicing the perfect stance on a surfboard.
2. Blue Crush
It’s a rom-com. With surfing and other sports. How else can this film get any better?
If you’re looking for a feel-good, romantic summer flick with a good amount of adrenaline-boosting surfing scenes, then Blue Crush is the right film for you.
You got the cheesy meet-cute between good-looking protagonists, an ambition they badly need to accomplish, summer in full swing, and slow-motion scenes of people gliding above the ridges and valleys of the sea. Blue Crush is a film that can make your heart go wild in a matter of seconds.
3. The Shallows
When someone calls a place a paradise, you should think it’s the opposite.
The Shallows, starring Blake Lively, is a story of an island looking like the closest thing to paradise on earth and the threats lurking just beneath the surface. These threats have thick skin, sharp teeth, and pointed fins.
It’s a gripping tale of how an unassuming woman who only came to the island to rediscover her love for the surface desperately attempts to evade these ferocious aquatic predators.
4. Big Wednesday
Big Wednesday is a classic surfing film that shows a group of beach boys who found their place in the world in the chaos of the sea. Set in the ‘70s, it shows the perfect winning formula of male friendship and a passion for greatness that binds them all. These boys, living their own lives, different, disconnected, and devoid of color, sought solace in the warmness of the sea.
If you want something to remind you to check on your friends currently reaching for their dreams wherever they may be, then this film might just be for you. You can come for the wholesome brotherhood and stay for the cool surfing shots, or vice versa.
5. Chasing Mavericks
Based on a true story starring Gerard Butler, Chasing Mavericks is a story of a little boy who’s looking for a father figure, and a rugged, worn-for-wear man to team up together to chase mavericks, the biggest waves in the world.
But this is a story of miracles, and miracles are always connotatively related to survival. This film shows how the pair found miracles in each other – one for giving the other a purpose in the world and one showing him the way to survive the mavericks.
A story that takes place in the ‘70s, Drift shows two brothers battling against all odds to make surfing their sustainable way of living. Of course, fighting too hard would eventually lead them to make some dangerous enemies, but their eyes never strayed away from their dream of making a wave in the surfing industry.
Facing drug cartels and the police, they try to wash themselves from wrongdoings by jumping into the ocean and riding the high, wild waves.
7. North Shore
Surfing waves, girls, romance, and everything in between–North Shore has it all here. This summer flick is just as fun as it could get, showing a surfer’s dream life of just getting drenched in the sea, day in and day out, and getting into exciting and heart-pumping competitions.
There’s nothing that a surfer can’t do on North Shore with its white sand beach and adoring crowds of surfing enthusiasts. If a feel-good surfing film is what you’re looking for, then North Shore might be just for you.
8. Lords of Dogstown
This Heath Ledger classic shows a ragtag group of long-haired, rugged-looking teens out for fun in Venice, California. In a place where surfing and skateboarding culture collide, these boys find themselves navigating the complexities of life after fame from winning surfing competitions.
Based on a true story, Lords of Dogstown reminds us that friendship trumps all challenges on and off the ocean waves.
9. Soul Surfer
This is also a dramatized retelling of the true story of Bethany Hamilton, an amputee who made major waves in the surfing world. An emotional tale of recovery and perseverance, Soul Surfer urges us to look beyond our flaws and imperfections and continue fighting for what brings great joy and purpose to our lives.
Before the accuracy of this film gets questioned, we must just focus on the emotional impact that Bethany Hamilton is able to share from her life-altering experience.
10. Teen Beach Movie
Teen Beach Movie takes our two young surfers – McKenzie and Brady – inside the film ‘Wet Side Story’, where it’s summer all year round, and all people do is surf and sing all day. Things go wrong when they start changing the plot of the movie and singing along with the characters. They must find a way out of the story before getting trapped in the movie forever.
While for Brady, who loves surfing, getting trapped sounds like the best way to live his life, for McKenzie, who wants to get into a university, being stuck in ‘Wet Side Story’ may be the worst thing to ever happen to her. Or maybe not. Go watch Teen Beach Movie to find out if they’re able to get back to real life, or they’ll spend the rest of their lives surfing and living in summer.
These surf movies showed you that surfing does not pick places, people, and possibilities. All year round, the sea gives us the most exciting and thrilling waves, no matter how sizzling or freezing the weather can be.
We hope these movies showed you that surfing is simply never just about surfing—it’s all about the freedom we can only be privileged to possess. Do these movies make you want to grab a surfboard, glide atop the tides, and just let go?
Written by Oliver Jones
I'm a dedicated surfer and writer, and my heart truly belongs to the ocean. Surfing is not just a sport but a way of life for me. I ride the waves in the water and on paper, pouring my passion into every word I write.
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