We have complied the “best” surf movies.
Why is best in quotes?
Well, while we love surfing movies, they aren’t necessarily known for their awarding winning plots, scripts and acting.
And we love them just the same.
Here is a rundown of the best surf flicks that will get you excited about your next surf, be it at your local break or on your next trip to your favorite island.
One more thing: If you aren’t lucky enough to have surfing buddy that already owns these movies, first get yourself better surfing friends and second, go watch these surfing movies on Amazon Prime.
Better yet, buy the DVD and you can be your own best friend.
Hollywood & Surfing: It’s complicated
Watch professional surfer Kolohe Andino break down surfing scenes from classic surf movies including: Point Break, Blue Crush, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Shallows, Surf’s Up, Gidget & Big Wednesday.
It can be even better than watching an actual surfing movie.
A Different Professional Surfer Dissecting Surfing Movies
It’s John John Florence’s turn to dissect our favorite surfing movies.
And Now, The Best* Surfing Movies Ever (Give or Take) on Amazon
*”Best” is a loose term. Viewer beware of low production and cheesy movie scenes.
You have been sufficiently warned!
This is easily the best surfing movie that ever was and will ever be.
No question about it. Is it a great movie? No. Have we tortured non-surfing friends with it.
Either way, it’s a must watch, must own, must quote surfing movie.
Stop what you are doing and watch it now. About the movie…
This is a surf movie with a love twist to it that makes it intriguing.
A young hot surfer from Arizona, Rick Kane, abandons his studies in a bid to pursue waves on the Hawaiian North Shore.
Things are rough for Rick at the start until he meets an aging hippie named Chandler who teaches him the ropes of surfing and in no time Rick is surfing better and finding love, albeit, a summer fling.
Maybe it would have been love, but North Shore 2 never happened.
We’re not bitter about it.
This movie is yet to receive a rating on Rotten Tomato but has an audience score of 83%.
Why it hasn’t received a score of at least 101% is beyond us.
It is directed by (make a wild guess) William Phelps himself! It is written by Tim McCanlies, William Phelps, and Randal Kleiser.
A limited edition was first released in 1987 while the streaming version was released in 2003.
The run time is 96 minutes. Not long enough.
The cast is made up of Matt Adler, Nia Peeples, Gregory Harrison, the one and only “Mr. Pipeline” himself, Gerry Lopez, and John Philbin.
This movie is one part romance all parts surfing that tells the story of Anne Marie and her three roommates.
Anne Marie moves to Hawaii where she hits the waves every morning religiously until she comes across Matt Tollman (a pro quarterback) who pushes her off-balance, literally.
This is a PG 13 movie with a couple of heated up romance scenes.
It was directed by John Stockwell and written by Stockwell and Lizzy Weiss. It was released in theatres in 2002 and runs for 105 minutes.
The cast is made up of Kate Bosworth, Matthew Davies, Michelle Rodriguez, Sanoe Lake, Mika Boorem, and Faizon Love among others.
This movie has a Rotten Tomatoes (Tomatometer) rating of 61% and an IMDb rating of 5.7/10.
Surf Movies on Amazon Prime
|The Endless Summer||$9.99|
|Andy Irons: Kissed by God||$8.99|
Point Break (1991)
This is an adrenalin pumping surf movie that is full of action, adventure, and mystery and goes great with popcorn.
It’s a story about FBI agent Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) who goes after a bunch of Southern California surfers suspected of robbing banks.
It was written by Rick King, Kathryn Bigelow, W, Peter Iliff, and James Cameron.
It featured in theatres in 1991 while the streamed version was made available in 2001.
It runs for 122 minutes.
The cast features Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, Garey Busey, Lori Petty, John McGinley, and James Le Gros.
It has a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer rating of 69% and an IMDb rating of 7.3/10.
We don’t talk about the reboot of Point Break from 2015. Fine, we just did, but that’s all we will say about that.
It’s dead to us. If you want, you can get it on Amazon as well.
This is a bestselling surf movie featuring AnnaSophia Robb as Bethany Hamilton who is a born surfer.
She begins her surfing escapades on Kauai where she is accompanied by her best friend Alana Blanchard (Lorraine Nicholson) as they chase the next perfect wave surfing Tunnels.
The dreams of this young surfer are almost shattered when she was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark one fateful Halloween morning in 2003.
Fortunately, she lives to tell the story as she struggles to find her footing and tackle the waves again. It’s real-life story about perseverance.
This movie was directed by Sean McNamara and written by Sean McNamara, Michael Berk, Douglas Schwartz, Deborah Schwartz, Matt Allen, Brad Gann, and Caleb Wilson.
It debuted in theatres in 2011 and became available for streaming in the same year.
The cast features Annasophia Robb, Dennis Quaid, Hellen Hunt, Lorraine Nicholson, Carrie Underwood, and Kevin Sorbo.
It has a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer rating of 45% and an IMDb rating of 7/10.
This animated film is a “mockumentary” that narrates how penguins invented surfing.
It features a footage of the Penguin World Surfing Championship taken from behind-the-scenes.
It is more of a kid friendly animation.
It was directed by Ash Brannon and Chris Buck and written by Don Rhymer, Joe Syracuse, Lisa Addario, Christian Darren, Christopher Jenkins, Ash Brannon, and Chris Buck.
Its debut in theatres was in 2007 and was available for streaming in the same year. Its runtime is 85 minutes.
The animation cast features James Woods, Diedrich Bader, Danny Mann, Jon Heder, Mario Cantone, and Kelly Slater.
It has a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer rating of 79% and an IMDb rating of 6.7/10.
Surf’s Up 2
This is a surf animation comedy featuring WWE Superstars as the animation crew.
The team (of penguins) goes out in search of a mysterious surfing spot known as “trenches” which allegedly has the biggest waves. It was directed by Henry Yu and written by Abdul Williams.
It was released in 2017 and runs for 90 minutes.
The cast features Jeremy Shada, John Heder, Melissa Sturm, John Cena, and Mark Calaway among others.
This animation does not have a rating on Rotten Tomatoes, probably for good reasons.
This 1978 surf movie is packed with comedy and drama. It is a story about friends who were once carefree surfers reuniting after serving as soldiers in Vietnam.
It’s a classic and should be in your collection.
The movie was directed by John Milius and written by John Milius and Dennis Aaberg.
It was first released to the theatres in 1978 and became available for streaming in 2002. Its runtime is 120 minutes.
The cast features Garey Busey, Jan-Michael Vincent, William Katt, Lee Purcell, Patti D’Arbanville, and Sam Melville.
It has a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer rating of 67% and an IMDb rating of 7.2/10.
That wraps up our review of the “best” surf movies of all time. Get to watchin’.
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