A Documentary About Surfing


What would a surf movie list be without an iconic classic that depicts its golden age? This cult film captures the progression of surfing’s vanguard during an era that birthed below-the-knee boardshorts culture.

Endless Summer director Jon Favreau’s son has created an engaging documentary on professional surfing, revealing its amazing athletes as they pursue their life-long ambitions on perfect waves.

The Endless Summer

In 1966, California surfers Mike Hynson and Robert August set off from California with no other plan than to follow summer around the globe. Narrated by Danny Brown with music by The Sandals providing the soundtrack, their journey takes them through Hawaii, Australia, Senegal, and South Africa while searching for what surfers refer to as “the perfect wave”. What ensued was an exciting adventure that created an iconic film that has altered surfing forever.

At once inspiring and timeless, this film encourages audiences to step outside of their comfort zones and experience life to its fullest. It explores adventure’s endless potential while reminding us to enjoy every moment of discovery whether on land or water – something both surfers and non-surfers alike will find much to admire in this movie.

Even though the surfers featured in this documentary are now older, their eyes still light up when speaking about their experiences. Director Richard Yelland captures an era when young groms still had immense passion and energy for their sport – something this documentary does.

This film also unveils how The Endless Summer came into being. Thanks to an unlikely series of events – like Metz’s meeting John Whitmore for instance on a beach in Cape Town in 1959 – its production may never have taken place; seeing how things came together gives viewers an appreciation of all that the film accomplished; indeed it remains one of the finest surfing documentaries ever produced and continues to have an effectful influence on modern surfers today.

Five Summer Stories

Five Summer Stories was widely considered “the finest surf movie ever made” upon its cinematic release in 1972. With its distinctive format — an eclectic collection of short stories or vignettes — Five Summer Stories captured an era of revolution and creativity as surfing made waves onto new territory. Part of its lasting popularity and cultural icon status stems from portraying surfing’s innocent joy as symbolic of humanity’s best chances for a peaceful Earth free from conflict politics or environmental destruction.

MacGillivray and Jim Freeman’s groundbreaking surf film in California and Hawaii featured surfers such as Gerry Lopez, David Nuuhiwa, Eddie Aikau, Corky Carroll, Herbie Fletcher, Sam Hawk, and others that raised both cinematic standards as well as artistic ones. Utilizing long lens aerial shots combined with close-up telephoto action shots taken both on land and underwater using underwater slow-motion photography; its production made waves.

The film’s striking ocean and landscape visuals, music by Beach Boys and Honk, and super-slow motion action sequences helped inspire an entire generation of surfer kids. Furthermore, its success led to MacGillivray Freeman Films being formed and MacGillivray becoming one of the leading producers of giant screen cinematographic works including Everest (an award-winning documentary film) as well as other projects.

MacGillivray joined us to discuss the theatrical re-release of Five Summer Stories, his upcoming book, and his longstanding partnership with Jim Freeman. Additionally, we talked to him about chasing fleeting images with complex equipment on massive screens while reaping untold rewards through following your passions.

Bustin’ Down the Door

Surfers from Australia and South Africa revolutionized surfing during the 1970s, leading to turf wars and even death threats from rival surfers. Narrated by Edward Norton, Bustin’ Down the Door tells their story as well as that of Shaun Tomson, Mark Richards, Ian Cairns, Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew, and others who came to Hawaii with something important to prove, ultimately changing world surfing forever.

In 1975, three Australian surfers from Oahu – Shaun Tomson, Rabbit Bartholomew, and Mark Richards – came together to revolutionize surfing on Oahu. Through their courage and raw ambition they set a new standard in wave riding; ultimately becoming one of the pioneers who transformed surfing from a casual lifestyle to a professional sport. Bustin’ Down the Door captures this transformative period like no other film has done before! Combining classic footage with interview interviews conducted today; Bustin’ Down the Door accurately captures its revolutionary period by both classic footage and modern interviews together to capture its revolutionary spirit like no other film before has.

This riveting true tale of Hawaii’s North Shore in 1975 and the bloody turf wars, gang warfare, and massive waves that broke loose is presented with breathtaking action footage and fascinating subjects. At that crucial juncture in history, a group of young surfers from Australia and South Africa made sacrifices that have resulted in millions of dollars being generated annually by surfing, as well as captured the imaginations of people worldwide. Bustin’ Down the Door, an influential documentary by Bustin’ Media Productions, showcases their groundbreaking approach and bold colonial attitude, colliding headfirst into an environment unprepared for change and helping reshape surfing forever. Bustin’ Down the Door stands as an influential and instructive cinematic classic; featuring lots of mythic talk from bronzed guys on Hawaiian beaches alongside spectacular oceanic adventures and some thrilling shots.

Riding Giants

Stacy Peralta of Dogtown and Z-Boys fame brings surfers’ passion for their sport to life in this inspiring documentary. The movie depicts surfers seeking out some of the largest waves around, and riding them. Narrated and directed by Peralta with production by Agi Orsi; featuring interviews with surfers such as Greg Noll, Jeff Clark, and Laird Hamilton as interview subjects – it is sure to enthrall both surfers and non-surfers alike! A must-see!

This documentary is an ideal way to spark kids’ interest in surfing. It explores its growth over time and features some of its top surfers; using archive footage, home movies, interviews, and home movies the movie tells its tale of big wave surfing with astounding clarity! An engaging film that will leave audiences wanting more!

The editing techniques utilized in this movie are highly innovative and help convey real emotions. For example, there are multiple short 3-second clips overlaid one onto another while calm beach waves and seagulls can be heard in the background – this shows both its crazy danger and the deep affinity of surfers for their ocean surroundings.

The film falters slightly during its analysis of how the 1960s film Gidget popularized surfing but quickly picks back up when the focus shifts to three modern-day surfers who still search for giant waves. These surfers describe how surfing has changed their lives, with love evident in every sentence spoken. Finally, an end sequence featuring Hawaiian ukulele music adds an island flair as interviewees reveal their greatest passion is surfing.