Our Favorite Paddle and Surf Movies
We did summer reading, but what about movies? There are plenty of fun water related flicks out there to make it through those times when you can’t get to the wet, are sidelined by injuries or just want a way to chill after a great weekend of adventure.
Here are some of our favorites, in no particular order.
Dana Brown’s father, Bruce, gave us Endless Summer, but his son takes it to the next level. I own a copy of this movie and can watch it over and over and over. It’s both history of surfing, travelogue, and personality profiles…and it includes interviews with Dave Kalama, Gerry Lopez, Rob Machado, and Kelly Slater, just to name a few. And it has a fantastic soundtrack to boot.
Our friend Chris Aguilar made this amazing documentary of Jenny Kalmbach and Morgan Hoesterey’s 2010 expedition attempt to cross all the Hawaiian Island Channels on Stand Up Paddle Boards. Their motivation, to see how pollution, in particular plastics, was affecting the islands’ water and people. Beautifully shot, inspirational and groundbreaking, it’s no wonder it was named SUP Movie of the Year in 2011.
Okay, okay. Cheesy. Predictable. But fun. And the first one is worth it along just to see a young Keala Kennelly. Set in Hawaii and South Africa for the sequel.
Just watched this the other night and was totally intrigued. First off, it is gorgeous. It’s the story of a surfing family’s journey around the globe, passing down lessons from one generation to the other all the while searching for The Big Fish. It’s told from the perspective of the six-year old son. Warning: This moving will definitely want to make you travel.
This is another cheesy one that has elevated to the level of cult status. It is cringe-worthy for sure, especially for the “dramatic” scenes with Laird Hamilton. Surfer from Arizona (yes, that’s right) leaves the mainland to seek his fortune on the surfing circuit on Oahu and falls in love with the wrong girl. It’s a predictable underdog story, but it’s the North Shore. And there’s a bonus – if you look carefully, you might just recognize a Chattajack legend in this one!!
This is the Kai Lenny movie, and it includes a string of sup surfing edits from all over the globe. It opens and closes with footage of Kai’s massive wipe out at Jaws where he sliced his foot open between the toes and was airlifted to the hospital. In between, there’s amazing footage of Zane Schweitzer, Mo Freitas, Kody Kerbox Ridge Lenny, oh and one or two women, for a little bit. There are interviews with Laird and a few other older guys, but this is really about the young guns. Kai talks a bit about his rivalry with Connor Baxter, but there’s not much of Connor here, until the end, when it seems like most of the outakes are making a bit of fun Connor. It stops just short of being obnoxious. Worth a watch for the footage. Make your own call.
Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze and Lori Petty. Southern California. Bank robbers who surf and an FBI agent kook who tries to infiltrate the bad guys’ inner circle. It’s a classic.
British adventure film maker and kayaker Justine Curgenven chronicles her own amazing expeditions and profiles some of the greats in the double-bladed paddle community. Her fifth CD focuses on Surfski pioneers Greg Barton and Oscar Chalupsky. These are a must watch for any paddler of any craft.
What’s your favorite water/paddle/surf related movie? Let us know in the comments.