Surf Videos

I’m trying to build up my video collection and was looking for some input. What do you all think are the seminal films that best represent the following eras or movements?

  1. 60’s

  2. 70’s

  3. 80’s

  4. 90’s

  5. 2000+

  6. modern longboards

  7. fish, mid-lenghts, bonzers, etc

  8. big wave



  1. all the old Bruce Brown movies, other than the one that’s just collected short subjects. “Golden Breed” is pretty good too, “Stop the Wave” if you can find it…

  2. Forgotten Island of Santosha, 5 Summer Stories, Sunshine Sea (any McGillivray & Freeman movie is pretty good)

  3. Siestas & Olas, Endless Summer II, Shelter, Step into Liquid

  4. Laird, TO, the Mavs videos

  5. OTHER: Surfing for Life, Surfer’s Journal Biographies are pretty good, as are their Great Waves series…


I’m trying to build up my video collection and was looking for some input. What do you all think are the seminal films that best represent the following eras or movements?

  1. 60’s

  2. 70’s

  3. 80’s

  4. 90’s

  5. 2000+

  6. modern longboards

  7. fish, mid-lenghts, bonzers, etc

  8. big wave



60s - I’m not all that knowledgable about 60s surf flicks, but I’ll go first with the obvious, Endless Summer. It’s truly timeless and if anyone doesn’t get stoked every time they watch it, they truly are the dark angel of death.

Check out Bruce Brown’s other flicks too.

70s - blazing boards, five summer stories, and big wednesday (not really a surf film but very well done for a hollywood surf flick).


90s - Searching for Tom Curren, Billabong challenge, Occumentary, 5’5" 19 1/4"

00s- Thicker Than Water, Shelter

in no particular order

0)50’s slippery when wet

  1. 60’s the golden breed, surfing hollow days, surf crazy, barefoot adventure, psyche out,

inside out

  1. 70’s ahh…morning of the earth, cosmic children, the innermost limits of pure fun,

crystal voyager, super session, some of these were shot in '69 or so but they belong to the next decade

  1. 80’s free ride, fantasea, same as above

  2. 90’s

  3. 2000+ shelter

  4. modern longboards, any h. fletcher video, adrift, wingnut’s search for soul, on safari to stay

  5. retro logs: multiple personalities, single fin yellow, the seedling

  6. both, wingnut’s art of longboarding

  7. fish, mid-lenghts, bonzers, etc shelter (especially for the green bonzer segment by donavon “frankensteiner”), way of life for jt riding a blue lopez pocket rocket replica at pipe

  8. big wave

9)other: any surfer’s journal video (

  1. Longboard magazines “contours”

8)Billabong odyssey(really only the opening scene)

Everyone else has good recomendations except they haven’t mentioned:

90’s- “Momentum” and anything else by Taylor Steele also I like the Puerto Underground movies.

This is what i’ve got.

1) 60’s = Endless Summer

  1. 70’s = Morning of The Earth

  2. 80’s = i’ve got a bit of Indo Express.

  3. 90’s = Hawaii 91, September Sessions

  4. 2000+ = All the free vids i get with magazines.

  5. modern longboards =

  6. fish, mid-lenghts, bonzers, etc =

  7. big wave = Whipped.

  1. 60’s = Slippery when wet, Endless Summer, Barefoot adventures, Surfing Hollow days

  2. 70’s = Morning of The Earth, Sea of Joy, Five Summer Stories

  3. 80’s = i have no idea

  4. 90’s =

  5. 2000+ =

  6. modern longboards = Longer, Adrift, Natural Expressions, The Seedling

  7. fish, mid-lenghts, bonzers, etc = riding waves, natural expressions, longer

  8. big wave =

For the 80’s it would have to be The Performers. The first one of three. It was made by Quiksilver. You can not get it anymore here in the states. You can order it online at If that is not it let me know and I will look for my incoice for it I just bought it. In the present time I would have to say September Sessions and Step Into Liquid. Hope this helps!!

I’m really enjoying watching “Way of Life”. Mainly a longboard film, there are some sequences with some hot fish and single fin shortboard riding.

  1. Evolution, i love this film! (and it’s music), believe it or not, my girlfriend love it too…

  2. Free Ride

  3. Pump! (Billabong)

  4. Kelly Slater in Black & White, Momentum I & II

  5. Momentum Under The Influence

  6. Contours (Longboard Magazine)

  7. Fish & midlenths ridden by Tudor: Longer; bonzers: Shelter, and just few waves from Donavon and Taylor.

  8. Laird, Billabong Odyssey

*9) Shaping: The Master Shaper Series: it’s a pleasure to see Jim Phillips shaping.

Be careful: don’t watch those videos if you don’t have waves to surf or a foam to shape!

guns ho, and the golden breed, don’t remember who did them but they are keepers in my book.

You got to get The Seedling. It’s awesome. And the guys who made the seedling are coming out with the second installment of that called “Sprout”. They are on tour going to different surf shops all summer long promoting it and if it’s anything like The Seedling it’s gonna be good. Also, Billabong made one a while back called Sick Joy. Weird camera work in that one. Also, Bill Ballard’s The Experience.

For Hollywood flicks with surfing…

Big Wednessday

North Shore

Blue Crush

In God’s Hands

the hollywood surfing flicks – try to get them on DVD so that you can watch the movie while listening to the director’s commentary. Much more interesting than the dialogue…

Don’t forget Apocalypse Now. Cuz Charlie Don’t Surf!

(6) Powerglide by Longboard Magazine is exellent. Good footage, good interviews, great music, good narration (Wingnut)

  1. “Children of the Sun”, a New Zealand film shot at the end of the longboard era, also has some Greenough footage at Noosa ( I think it was Noosa)

  2. “The Cosmic Children”, IMHO, the best of Jepsen’s films, late 60’s footage, beavertail’s flapping, can’t get any better

  3. “Litmus”, Derek Hynd screaming down the walls at J-Bay on a fish

I agree with everything posted, so far, but the one era that seems to still be open is the 80’s.

I’d say the vid that best captures this era would be the original “Performers” from Quiksilver - but good luck trying to find a copy of it!

Also, you might want to check out Blazing Boards (mentioned above), Storm Riders, Surfers The Movie (IMHO the footage of Martin Potter at Shipwrecks is some of, if not THEE best 3-4 minutes of surfing ever recorded on film), Free Ride Part II, and Shock Waves.

Fantasea (mentioned above) has a special place in my heart because it was the first surf movie I went to see as a kid.

Good luck!

The natural Art by FRED Windisch, and Yuri Farrant’s Hot Lips and Inner Tubes must be mentioned as well as the senior brown,… BUD…ambrose …semen-al ? …can a surf movie be that good?..yes it can… in the right light

If you’re getting up there in age and want some inspiration, check out “Surfing for Life.” (David Brown - 1999)

Woody Brown, Doc Ball, Rabbit Kekai, John Kelly, Eve Fletcher, Fred Van Dyke, Leroy Grannis, Peter Cole, Shay Bintliff and Anona Napolean are all featured. Watching and listening to Woody Brown make you want to surf until you’re a million years old.

Many thanks to Malcolm Gault-Williams for keeping up his historical website that profiles some of these people!

Check out the video and Malcolm’s website: