The greatest surfing documentaries can be enjoyed by people who avoid water just as much as those who can't wait to catch their next wave. That's because they're about more than surfing. The top examples are psychological portraits of surfers and the mindset that makes them become obsessed with the sport despite its inherent risks. You can get absorbed in a good surfing documentary on that level alone. Throw in some amazing cinematography and you're completely hooked on these surf documentary movies. From Australia to California, these surfing documentaries are filmed all over the world.
Some the best documentaries about surfing include Endless Summer, Riding Giants, and Momentum Generation. You also find some Jack McCoy and Bruce Brown films on this list as well. Use the list below to see if your favorites have made it near the top of the list or use it to find the next surf doc you're going to watch.
Vote up the best surfing docs below. If you have a favorite that's not included, add it to the list of surf documentaries and then check back to see how other users are ranking it, then be sure to check out the best surf movies.
Momentum GenerationJeff Zimbalist, Michael Zimbalist
Actors: Jeannie Chesser, Thomas DeLonge, Shane Dorian
Released: 2018Momentum is a documentary film directed by Zeinabu Irene Davis.
Actors: Bruce Brown, Miki Dora, Robert August, Michael Hynson, Wayne Miyata
Released: 1966The Endless Summer is a seminal 1966 surf movie. Filmmaker/narrator Bruce Brown follows two... more on Wikipedia
Released: 2004Riding Giants is a 2004 documentary film directed and narrated by Stacy Peralta, a famous... more on Wikipedia
Released: 2007Surfwise is a 2007 American documentary film about the 11-member Doc Paskowitz family, which... more on Wikipedia
Released: 1969The Fantastic Plastic Machine is a 1969 documentary film following a group of California... more on Wikipedia
Released: 1972Morning of the Earth is a 1971 classic surf film by Alby Falzon and David Elfick. The film's... more on Wikipedia
Released: 2003Step into Liquid is a documentary about surfing directed by Dana Brown, son of famed surfer... more on Wikipedia
Surf CrazyBruce Brown
Actors: Bruce Brown, Donald Takayama
Released: 1959Surf Crazy was the second surf movie by Bruce Brown. Filmed in 1959, it follows surfers to... more on Wikipedia
Actors: Kelly Slater, Laird Hamilton, Pat O'Connell, Robert Weaver
Released: 1994The Endless Summer II is a 1994 film directed by Bruce Brown and is a sequel to his 1966 film... more on Wikipedia
Released: 1972Five Summer Stories is a 1972 surf film by Jim Freeman and Greg MacGillivray, starring David... more on Wikipedia
Bustin' Down the DoorJeremy Gosch
Actors: Edward Norton, Kelly Slater, Shaun Tomson, Ian Cairns
Released: 2008Bustin' Down The Door is a 2008 documentary film chronicling the rise of professional surfing... more on Wikipedia
Blue HorizonJack McCoy
Released: 2004Blue Horizon is a 2004 documentary film directed by Jack Mccoy.
Actors: Cillian Murphy
Released: 2009Waveriders is a 2008 documentary film. The film was produced by Margo Harkin and directed by... more on Wikipedia
Actors: Monique Marrier
Released: 2009Highwater is a 2008 documentary film centered on surfing's Triple Crown competitions, the... more on Wikipedia
Keep SurfingBjörn Richie Lob
Actors: Dieter Deventer, Nick Carroll, Markus Knörringer, Gerhard Schlegel, Walter Strasser
Released: 2009"This kinetic and fast-paced documentary will put you right on the Eisbach in the heart of...
Actors: Jeff Johnson, Keith Malloy, Greg Noll, Skip Frye, Tom Curren
Released: 2008One California Day is a 2007 documentary film about surfing shot in six coastal regions in... more on Wikipedia
Actors: Nat Young
Released: 1973Crystal Voyager is a 1973 Australian surf film directed by David Elfick. It was filmed,... more on Wikipedia
Bra BoysMacario De Souza, Sunny Abberton
Released: 2011Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe makes his feature directorial debut with this surf drama... more on Wikipedia
God Went Surfing with the DevilAlexander Kleinn
Released: 2010God Went Surfing with the Devil is a 2010 surfing documentary directed by Alexander Klein that... more on Wikipedia
- 20Storm Riders is a 1982 film by David Lourie, Jack McCoy and Dick Hoole, featuring some of the... more on Wikipedia
White WashTed Woods
Released: 2011White Wash is a documentary film directed by Ted Woods, and is a film exploring the complexity...
Gaza Surf Club
Under An Arctic Sky
Take Every Wave