Now that the weather is cooling down, there are some days you’d just rather stay indoors bundled up rather than paddle out in the cold. If this is the case but you get FOMO when it comes to surfing, don’t worry. We’ve got the next best thing lined up. Here at San Diego Surf School we’ve compiled a list of the best surf movies so you can enjoy your day inside while still being immersed in surf culture. Take a look at our picks so you can plan the best surf movie sesh.
This coming of age surf movie is about a young surfer named Jay and his goal to surf Mavericks. During his journey, he meets a former surfer named Frosty who becomes his mentor. Jay and Frosty train together and Jay eventually reaches his goal to surf Mavericks. It shows a unique friendship and is a good movie to watch if you want to feel inspired. You can catch Chasing Mavericks on Youtube, Vudu, iTunes, Google Play and Amazon Prime.
This is a classic surf movie. It’s a documentary about two surfers who travel the world chasing summer in order to find the perfect wave. While documentaries are mostly informative, this movie is both informative and funny and takes you around the world to some of the best surfing spots. Endless Summer is a staple in surf culture and is definitely a must see. It will leave you feeling like a true surfer! Check it out on Tubi, Amazon Prime, YouTube and iTunes.
If you’re a surf history buff, this movie is the one to watch. It shares the history of big wave surfing and tracks the first surfers who put big wave surfing on the map. Riding Giants shows how the culture around big wave surfing began. The surfers who first rode big waves devoted their lives to it and spent their days looking for the perfect wave. It also shows how they discovered the now famous spots in Hawaii and California. It’s informative yet not too serious and illustrates how big wave surfing has changed over time. Find this film on Vudu, Amazon Prime, YouTube, iTunes and Google Play.
Thicker Than Water
This movie is directed by the musician, Jack Johnson, and is produced by Kelly Slater, which is arguably the best duo to ever make a surf movie. Jack Johnson’s music is well-known among surfers for its chill vibes. Before Jack Johnson was a musician, he was a filmmaker and a professional surfer. Kelly Slater is the world’s leading surfer so you can bet you’re going to get quality surf content by artists that know what they’re doing when you watch this movie. The surf documentary shows footage of surf spots all over the world and features some of the best surfers in the world. You can rent it on Netflix or Amazon Prime.
If you only have time to watch one movie on the list, this should be it. Surf’s Up is a mockumentary about surfing penguins and tells the story of Cody, a penguin who wants to be a professional, competitive surfer. Cody meets a former surf legend and learns that not everything in life is about competition. During this process he learns how to make friends and about the most important aspect of surfing, enjoying yourself. While funny, Surf’s Up is also an engaging story about what it means to be successful. You can watch it on Hulu, YouTube, Starz, Sling, Amazon Prime or Vudu.
If you’re not so stoked about the rain and cold weather approaching, plan for the winter months with surf flix. When it’s just a bit too cold to convince yourself to get in the water, it’s a good idea to take the day off and instead, enjoy these surf films. Whether you want to watch something informative that teaches you about surf culture or a lighthearted, funny movie, there is something for everyone to enjoy.