The Best Surf Movies

List Rules
Vote up your favorite films about surfers and surfing and get ready to catch some waves.

Looking for a list of the best surf movies, including documentaries about surfing, narrative surf films, and beach party movies? Then you're in the right spot. Dedicated surf fans will gravitate towards the documentaries and action movies on the list while beach party films, popular in the 60s, are entirely fictional and geared more towards a general audience. Whether one long-boards or short-boards, there's a surf movie for everyone. The films on this list aren't for kooks (well-- most of them aren't). Enjoy!

Use this surfing movies list to remember your favorites or learn about new titles in the genre that you may have never heard of. Want to know which of these movies is the best surf movie of all time? You get to help decide by voting up your favorite surf films. Be sure to check back as new, good surfing movies are added to the list once they've been released.

Photo:
list ordered by
  • Documentary filmmaker Bruce Brown, himself a competition-level surfer, follows surfers Michael Hynson and Robert August on an around-the-world surfing adventure. With Brown's wry, sardonic narration ...more
  • After a string of bizarre bank robberies in Southern California, with the crooks donning masks of various former presidents, a federal agent, Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves), infiltrates the suspected ...more
  • Three 1960s California surfers (Jan-Michael Vincent, William Katt, Gary Busey) fool around, drift apart and reunite years later to ride epic waves.
  • After learning how to surf by using the local wave tanks, Arizona resident Rick (Matt Adler) uses his winnings from a recent contest to fly to Hawaii and try to make a living for himself as a ...more
  • When 15-year-old surfing phenomenon Jay Moriarty (Jonny Weston) discovers that the mythic Mavericks surf break, one of the biggest waves on Earth, actually exists near his California home, he becomes ...more
  • A natural talent in the sport of surfing, teenager Bethany Hamilton (AnnaSophia Robb) loses an arm in a shark attack. Bolstered by the love of her parents (Helen Hunt, Dennis Quaid) and refusing to ...more
  • A drought in 1970s Southern California has an unexpected side effect: as people empty their swimming pools, a group of teen surfers from the Dogtown area of Venice Beach move in with skateboards, and ...more
  • Nothing gets between Anne Marie (Kate Bosworth) and her board. Living in a beach shack with three roommates including her rebellious younger sister, she is up before dawn every morning to conquer the ...more
  • Three college buddies -- Jody (Fabian), Steamer (Tab Hunter) and Chase (Peter Brown) -- wax their boards and head to Oahu, Hawaii, for the annual surfing competition at Waimea Bay. While Jody cozies ...more
  • Frankie (Frankie Avalon) and the gang are hitting the beach for some good old-fashioned shenanigans. To get the party underway, the manager (Paul Lynde) of pop singer Sugar Kane (Linda Evans) decides ...more
  • Part sports history, part thrill ride, skateboarder Stacy Peralta's documentary pays homage to the brave, foolish surfers who dare ride the world's biggest waves. Peralta lays out the evolution of ...more
  • Step into Liquid is a documentary about surfing directed by Dana Brown, son of famed surfer and filmmaker Bruce Brown. The film includes surfing footage from the famous Pipeline, the beaches of ...more
  • In this sequel to the seminal surfing movie, documentarian Bruce Brown again explores choice international surf destinations, this time visiting locations such as Alaska, Indonesia, Fiji, France and ...more
  • Dolores (Annette Funicello) and Frankie (Frankie Avalon), attractive young surfers in Southern California, are just out for a good time. Their relaxed lifestyle fascinates Professor Sutwell (Bob ...more
  • Surfing means everything to teenage penguin Cody Maverick (Shia LaBeouf). Followed by a documentary film crew, he leaves his home in Antarctica for Pen Gu Island, site of the the Big Z Memorial Surf ...more
  • Gidget is a 1959 Columbia Pictures CinemaScope feature film. It stars Sandra Dee, Cliff Robertson, and James Darren in a story about a teenager's initiation into the California surf culture and her ...more
  • Three friends -- Shane (Shane Dorian), Keoni (Matty Liu) and Mickey (Matt George) -- are professional surfers who travel the world, searching for the perfect wave. They begin in the South Seas with ...more
  • Filmed in 16 mm, The September Sessions: The Tomorrowland Story Brought To Life In Brilliant 16mm Film is a 2002 documentary surf film directed by singer/songwriter Jack Johnson. Often called ...more
  • Thicker Than Water is a 2000 documentary surf film directed by singer/songwriter Jack Johnson and his film school friend Chris Malloy. It shows surfing footage from different locations like ...more
  • Surf Party is a 1964 beach party film directed by Maury Dexter. It is notable for the musical acts showcased onscreen, as well as for being the first direct imitation of AIP’s hit Beach Party, which ...more
  • Two Australian brothers (Myles Pollard, Xavier Samuel) run afoul of conservative townspeople and drug-dealing bikers after they start a business of customized surfwear and surfing equipment.
  • The Perfect Wave is a drama romance adventure biographical film directed by Bruce Macdonald.
  • Young California skateboarder and surfer Cash Canty (Sean Kellman) happens to meet his look-alike, Prince Edward (also Kellman), who is visiting the United States and destined to be king of Gelfland. ...more
  • Morning of the Earth is a 1971 classic surf film by Alby Falzon and David Elfick. The film's soundtrack was produced by G. Wayne Thomas and included music and songs by noted Australian music acts ...more
  • White Rhino is a 2019 American sports documentary film directed by Brent Storm. A professional surf photographer chases down the largest surf ever seen in hopes of capturing a once in a lifetime ...more