The Best Surfing Movies and TV Shows

photo from ‘View from a Blue Moon

Surfing is not just a sport; it’s a lifestyle, a culture, and an adventure that has been beautifully captured in numerous movies and TV shows over the years. From groundbreaking documentaries to exhilarating dramas, these productions offer a window into the world of surfing, showcasing the beauty of the waves and the passion of the surfers who ride them.

Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or someone who simply appreciates the allure of the ocean, this list of the best surfing movies and TV shows is sure to inspire and entertain. Grab your board (or your popcorn), and dive into this curated collection of surf cinema.


Best Surfing Movies

The Endless Summer (1966)

best surfing movie endless summer

This iconic documentary by Bruce Brown follows two young surfers, Mike Hynson and Robert August, on a quest to find the perfect wave. Traveling around the world, they discover surf spots in places like Africa, Australia, and Tahiti, showcasing the beauty and universality of surfing.

Watch it on Amazon

The Endless Summer II (1994)

best surfing movies endless summer II

Nearly thirty years after the original, Bruce Brown returns with a sequel featuring surfers Pat O’Connell and Robert “Wingnut” Weaver. They embark on a similar global journey, exploring new surf destinations and highlighting how the surfing world has evolved.

Watch it on Amazon

Riding Giants (2004)

surfing movie riding giants

Directed by Stacy Peralta, this documentary dives into the history and culture of big wave surfing. Featuring legends like Greg Noll, Laird Hamilton, and Jeff Clark, it offers a thrilling look at the pioneers who push the limits of what’s possible on the waves.

Watch it on Amazon

North Shore (1987)

top surfing movies

This classic (and hilarious) surf drama follows Rick Kane, a young surfer from Arizona, who moves to Hawaii to prove himself in the surfing world. Along the way, he learns about the local culture and the true spirit of surfing.

Watch it on Amazon

Step into Liquid (2003)

surf movie

Directed by Dana Brown, this documentary explores the diverse and global nature of surfing. Featuring surfers from various backgrounds and locales, it celebrates the universal joy and camaraderie of riding waves.

Watch it on Amazon

Momentum Generation (2018)

surfing movie

This documentary chronicles the rise of a group of young surfers in the 1990s who revolutionized the sport. Featuring Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, and others, it’s a nostalgic look at their journey and impact on surfing culture.

Watch it on Amazon

Point Break (1991)

surfing movie with keanu reeves

This action-packed thriller stars Keanu Reeves as an FBI agent who goes undercover to catch a gang of surfing bank robbers led by Patrick Swayze. It’s a cult classic that blends surfing with high-stakes drama. 

Watch it on Amazon

Big Wednesday (1978)

top surf movie big wednesday

Directed by John Milius, this coming-of-age drama spans a decade in the lives of three surfers as they navigate personal and societal changes. It’s a nostalgic ode to the bond between surfers and their love for the waves.

Watch it on Amazon

Drift (2013)

two surfers on a movie

Set in the 1970s, this Australian film tells the story of two brothers who start a surfboard business. Facing various challenges, they help shape the modern surf industry while staying true to their passion for surfing.

Watch it on Amazon

Morning of the Earth (1972)

two surfers with surfboards on a beach

This classic surf film captures the beauty of surfing and the natural world, following surfers in Australia, Bali, and Hawaii. It’s a visual feast that celebrates the harmony between surfers and their environment.

Watch it on Amazon

Surfers’ Blood (2016)

guy surfing on big wave

A documentary film that explores the deep connection between surfing and the ocean, featuring stories from surfers around the world. It’s a heartfelt and visually stunning tribute to the surfing community.

Watch it on Amazon

Under the Sun (2008)

documentary film about surfing

This documentary film by Cyrus Sutton explores the surf culture and rivalry between Australia and California, offering a historical perspective on the development of modern surfing. It features stunning cinematography and insightful interviews with key figures in the surfing world.

Watch it on Amazon

Under an Arctic Sky (2017)

surfing under the northern lights iceland

This stunning documentary follows six surfers as they embark on an adventure to the remote and icy waters of Iceland, seeking out waves under the glow of the Northern Lights. It’s a visually breathtaking film that captures the raw beauty and challenges of surfing in one of the most extreme environments on earth.

Watch it on Amazon

The Yin & Yang of Gerry Lopez (2022)

documentary surf film

This documentary delves into the life and career of Gerry Lopez, known as “Mr. Pipeline.” It explores his contributions to surfing and his unique approach that combines the intensity of big wave surfing with a Zen-like philosophy.

Watch it on Amazon

Andy Irons: Kissed by God (2018)

surfing movie

This documentary tells the powerful and emotional story of three-time world champion surfer Andy Irons, who struggled with bipolar disorder and opioid addiction. It’s a candid look at his life, legacy, and the impact of his struggles on his family and the surfing community.

Watch it on Amazon

Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable (2019)

bethany hamilton surfing movie

This inspiring documentary chronicles the life of Bethany Hamilton, from her recovery after losing her arm in a shark attack to her return to competitive surfing. It showcases her determination, resilience, and impact as a role model.

Watch it on Amazon

View from a Blue Moon (2015)

stunning surf footage

Follow professional surfer John John Florence as he travels the globe, capturing some of the most stunning surf footage ever recorded. This visually stunning film highlights the beauty of surfing and the diverse locations where the sport thrives.

girl with surfboard on oceanview balcony

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South to Sian (2016)

surfing in indonesia

This film follows surfers Harrison Roach and Zye Norris on an epic road trip through the Indonesian archipelago. It’s an adventurous journey that captures the spirit of exploration and the beauty of remote surf spots.

Watch it on Amazon

Strange Rumblings in Shangri La (2014)

three surfers with surfboards

This award-winning film takes viewers on a journey to some of the most exotic and uncharted surf destinations in the world, combining stunning cinematography with a narrative of adventure and discovery.

Watch it on Amazon

Let’s Be Frank (2016)

frank solomon surf documentary

This unique surf film blends fiction and reality as it explores the larger-than-life persona of South African surfer Frank Solomon. It’s an imaginative take on the surf documentary genre, full of humor and stunning visuals.

Watch it on Amazon

Girls Can’t Surf (2021)

girl surfing in surf movie

This documentary highlights the struggles and triumphs of female surfers in the 1980s and 1990s who fought for recognition and equality in a male-dominated sport. It’s an inspiring story of perseverance and passion.

Watch it on Amazon

Proximity (2017)

surf documentary featuring top surfers

Featuring Kelly Slater and other top surfers, this documentary explores the relationships between people, places, and waves. It’s a beautifully shot film that delves into the personal and professional lives of its subjects.

Watch it on Amazon

Maps to Nowhere (2023–)

surfing youtube series

This video series follows surfers as they embark on journeys to find perfect, undiscovered waves in remote locations. It’s a testament to the spirit of adventure and the endless quest for the perfect wave.

Watch it on YouTube

Undone – Laura Enever (2020)

woman surfing on big wave

This documentary follows professional surfer Laura Enever as she transitions from competitive surfing to big wave surfing. It captures her challenges and triumphs in the world of extreme surfing.

Watch it on Amazon

Fish: The Surfboard Documentary (2017)

surf movie about fish surfboard

This documentary explores the history and impact of the fish surfboard design, featuring insights from legendary surfers and shapers. It’s a deep dive into surfboard innovation and culture.

Watch it on Amazon

Bra Boys (2007)

surf gang movie

This documentary explores the lives of the Bra Boys, a surf gang from Maroubra, Sydney. Narrated by Russell Crowe, it delves into their unique culture, brotherhood, and the challenges they face.

Watch it on Amazon

Blue Crush (2002)

girls with surfboards on a movie set

A fictional drama set in Hawaii, this film follows Anne Marie (Kate Bosworth) as she prepares for a major surfing competition while juggling personal challenges. It’s a story of determination, friendship, and the sheer joy of surfing.

Watch it on Amazon

Chasing Mavericks (2012)

surfer riding mavericks surf break

This biographical drama tells the true story of Jay Moriarity, a young surfer who dreams of riding the legendary Mavericks surf break. With the help of mentor Frosty Hesson (Gerard Butler), Jay faces the monumental waves and learns valuable life lessons.

Watch it on Amazon

Soul Surfer (2011)

inspiring surf movie

Based on the inspiring true story of Bethany Hamilton, this film portrays her journey of recovery and return to competitive surfing after losing her arm in a shark attack. It’s a testament to her incredible resilience and passion for the sport.

Watch it on Amazon

Best Surfing TV Shows

Make or Break (2022–)

World Surf League Championship Tour show

This documentary series provides an in-depth look at the World Surf League Championship Tour, following the world’s top surfers as they compete on some of the most challenging waves. It’s a behind-the-scenes look at the competitive and personal lives of these athletes.

Watch it on Apple TV+

 100 Foot Wave (2021–)

100 foot surf wave in portugal

This documentary series follows big wave surfer Garrett McNamara as he pursues his dream of riding a 100-foot wave in Nazaré, Portugal. The series captures the risks, rewards, and relentless pursuit of surfing the biggest waves in the world.

Watch it on Amazon

Surf Girls Hawaii (2023–)

female surfers on a beach

This reality series follows a group of young female surfers from Hawaii as they navigate the competitive surfing scene while balancing school, family, and friendships. It offers an intimate look at their journey and the unique challenges they face in the surfing world.

Watch it on Amazon

From timeless classics to contemporary series, these surfing movies and TV shows offer a rich tapestry of stories that celebrate the spirit of surfing. Whether you’re looking to relive epic wave-riding moments or get inspired by the resilience and passion of surfers, this list has something for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and let these films and shows transport you to the world’s most beautiful surf spots.

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