10 Best Big Wave Movies You Must Watch

Hey there, fellow wave riders! If you're a beach bum at heart and the sound of crashing waves sets your soul on fire, you're in for a treat. We've got the perfect concoction of sun, sand, and surf movies that will have you stoked and ready to ride the cinematic waves. 

From classic documentaries to high-octane action flicks, these surfing films bring the best of the ocean to your living room. So, grab your surfboard and shades, and let's dive into the epic world of surf cinema!

1. Endless Summer (1966)

Prepare to embark on a surf-tastic journey around the world! Follow two surfers as they chase the sun, traveling to remote corners of the globe for the perfect wave that never ends. From Africa's palm-fringed beaches to Australia's rugged beauty, this iconic film captures the essence of surf culture. It will leave you dreaming of your endless summer. This timeless gem, directed by Bruce Brown, features surfers Robert August and Mike Hynson, showcasing their daring spirit and love for the ocean.

2. Point Break (1991)

Who says surfers can't be adrenaline junkies too? Hang on tight for an adrenaline-fueled surf and crime extravaganza! In Point Break, directed by Kathryn Bigelow, Keanu Reeves stars as Johnny Utah, an FBI agent who infiltrates a group of bank-robbing surfers led by the enigmatic Bodhi, played by Patrick Swayze. This action-packed thriller combines high-octane surfing scenes with heart-pounding heists, creating the ultimate ride for surf enthusiasts and action movie fans. Prepare for breathtaking stunts and a wild chase that will leave you breathless!

3. Dogtown and Z-Boys (2001)

Welcome to the early days of modern skateboarding! This fascinating movie introduces us to 1970s Southern California, where a gang of rogue surfers channeled their surfing enthusiasm into a groundbreaking skateboarding style. Stacy Peralta's eye-opening movie recounts the rise of the renowned Zephyr skateboard team, the Z-Boys. The film depicts the rebellious spirit of real-life surfers-turned-skaters like Tony Alva, Jay Adams, and Stacy Peralta and the innovative moves that forever revolutionized skating. Their free-spirited attitude and raw talent will encourage you to shred on water and pavement.

4. Blue Crush (2002)

Get ready for a breathtaking ride into the world of competitive surfing! Set against the stunning backdrop of Hawaii's North Shore, Blue Crush follows the journey of Anne Marie, played by Kate Bosworth, a talented surfer determined to conquer the dangerous Pipeline break. Directed by John Stockwell, this heartwarming drama is a coming-of-age tale of courage, friendship, and following your dreams. Alongside Kate Bosworth, the film stars Michelle Rodriguez and Matthew Davis, bringing their A-game to the surf scene and making us believe in the power of riding the waves and overcoming challenges.

5. North of the Sun (2012)

Inge Wegge and Jrn Ranum, two Norwegian friends and avid surfers in their early twenties, chronicled their search for beautiful, secret (if chilly) waves in 2012. The two spent nine months, almost entirely without sunlight, on a lonely beach north of the Arctic Circle, riding waves and collecting rubbish that washed up on shore—over 30 tonnes.

They made a house out of junk and used it to do everything they needed to survive (besides surfing). There's something poignant about a great love of the ocean, and their bond is beautifully and frequently hilariously conveyed in their footage.

6. Soul Surfer (2011)

Based on the true story of Bethany Hamilton, this uplifting film depicts the tale of an aspiring surfer whose journey took a sudden turn when an attack by a shark left her without one arm. Despite various obstacles and misgivings, she is adamant about getting back on her board and returning to the sea. Soul Surfer is a narrative of bravery, resilience, and the enduring bond between a surfer and the sea. This compelling biographical film, directed by Sean McNamara, stars Anna Sophia Robb as Bethany, with Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt playing her loving parents.

7. Drift (2013)

Head to the 1970s Australian coast in Drift, directed by Ben Nott and Morgan O'Neill. This gripping drama stars Sam Worthington and Xavier Samuel as brothers who start a surf gear business, blending their passion for surfing with entrepreneurship. Set against the backdrop of the surfing revolution, the film explores their struggles, triumphs, and encounters with the darker side of the surf industry. Drift is a thrilling ride filled with action, brotherly love, and a strong dose of the Aussie surf spirit.

8. View From a Blue Moon (2015)

Get ready for a visual feast with View From a Blue Moon, directed by Blake Vincent Kueny and featuring the exceptional talents of pro surfer John Florence. This beautiful film takes you on a globe surf tour, capturing the ocean's beauty and power like never before. The video offers an intimate insight into the life of a professional surfer and the excitement of riding the waves, with mesmerizing cinematography and jaw-dropping surf moments.

9. Andy Irons: Kissed by God (2017)

Directed by Steve Jones and Todd Jones, this poignant movie pays tribute to the late surfing legend Andy Irons. Through intimate interviews and archival footage, the film sheds light on Andy's extraordinary talent, his battle with mental health issues, and the demons he faced. This emotional rollercoaster stars Andy Irons himself, along with his family, friends, and fellow surfers, providing a powerful glimpse into the pressures faced by professional surfers and the importance of mental health awareness.

10. Under an Arctic Sky (2017)

Brace yourself for an epic Arctic adventure in this movie, directed by Chris Burkard. A group of fearless surfers ventures to Iceland's north coast in pursuit of the perfect wave under the northern lights. Battling freezing temperatures and unpredictable conditions, they embark on a journey that captures the raw beauty of nature and the spirit of exploration. Surfers Chris Burkard, Sam Hammer, and Heidar Logi feature in Under an Arctic Sky bringing their energy and talent to the frigid waves.


Grab your surfboard, head to the beach, and get lost in the fantastic stories of surfers battling obstacles and achieving their dreams. Relax, catch the next crest of surf films, and prepare for a tidal wave of inspiration! The waves of the silver screen are calling you to ride them!

James Davis

Written by James Davis

I'm a true California local, and I've spent my life riding the waves along our stunning coastline. Surfing has always been my greatest love, and in my writing, I try to capture its genuine essence. My words aim to transport you into the heart of the surf culture, where the ocean and surfers come together in perfect harmony.

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