Aug. 10, 2023

Surf's Up: the Sensual Romance of Surfing

Surf's Up: the Sensual Romance of Surfing

Ever since I first saw 1959's Gidget rerun on TV, I thought surfing and beach culture looked like the most fun you could have all summer. I might be an outsider still but my surf crush continues with every surfing movie or documentary that comes along, and the crazy-sexy fictional or real-life characters who make riding multi-story ocean waves look like a beach picnic. How could you not fall in love?


The one and only Gidget, the story of the "beach generation." Moondoggie's right: there is no next best thing to love!

For many, Point Break (1991) with Keanu Reeves is the ultimate rush — and surfing movie.  I prefer the technically impressive 2015 remake: it's an irresistible band of brothers story with romance and a bunch of gorgeous, knuckleheaded, uber-talented adrenaline junkies who have you rooting for them from word go. The trailer alone gives me a stomachache!

"This is more than about surfing — it's about the choices you make in life." Chasing Mavericks is a feel-good story about found family, the roles we're sometimes given, and the passions that make all of us tick.

Supposedly, it's a "teen drama" set in a surfing town in Australia, which is why I even started watching Surviving Summer, but I got sucked right into the clever script, acting, editing and gorgeous production values.

Blue Crush is the ultimate summer surf-and-sand romantic drama.


The Endless Summer (1966) is the granddaddy of surfing documentaries, and it's totally groovy.

The "girl gang" in the new 4-part documentary Surf Girls: Hawaii are barely into their 20s and yet so impressive, wildly talented and completely awesome.

The sound design, pacing and incredible surfing skills and photography on display in the multi-part documentary 100 Foot Wave keep you on the edge of your seat.

One version of the Ozaki Eight based on the Point Break remake. It's definitely one way to "honor the power of the ocean." But I'll need to celebrate the ocean from the shore, on a beach blanket.

Find surfing oral histories, podcasts, virtual tours and more at the Surfing Heritage and Cultural Center online.

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