5 Fun Films That Will Deepen Your Love For Surfing

Everybody loves a good surf film. We replay sections to study maneuvers and indulge in the scenery from different surf locations, all of which exhibit just another side of paradise. But the surf films that I’ve really come to love offer more than just surf envy. These are the films that will make you ask life’s most important questions; the films that leave you feeling like you were meant for something more.

1) Given by Jess Bianchi (2016)


This family flick and adventure movie in one has a spellbinding secret and you’ll find yourself engrossed in it the moment the opening credits begin. Here is a film with layers of masterful storytelling. From the visuals down to what can only be felt, this is a film that will inspire movement both on the outside and from within. Watch out for the “big fish!”


2) Compassing by Cyrus Sutton (2013)


Cyrus Sutton is a man of flow. From his surfing to his storytelling, he is sharp and seamless. In this short film sponsored by Reef, Cyrus ventures into the search of something we all dream of-- freedom. He packs his entire life into a van and rolls away from point to point, meeting kindred spirits, and pondering on these connections while finding perfect waves to surf along the way.


3) Surfwise by Doug Pray (2007)


Trailing the life of surfer, doctor, and van life pioneer, Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, this documentary is the epitome of making your own mold instead of following life’s archetypes. When you travel from surf break to surf break with your family in tow, you’ll come across stares and raised eyebrows. But none of that mattered to Doc, his wife, and their 9 children as long as they were near the ocean.


4) The Heart & The Sea by Nathan Oldfield (2012)


If the surf film genre had a poet it would be Nathan Oldfield. His films are distinct in their visual appeal and their simplicity of depth and substance. The Heart & The Sea explores what goes on beyond the surf sessions and the many sunsets and sunrises shared by friends and family bound together by the endless pursuit of stoke. It is impossible to watch this film without yearning for the same intimacy with the sea as pictured in the scenes.


5) The Gift of Barong: A Journey From Within by Benito Bautista (2006)


Here’s a nostalgic look at how surfing helped one man rediscover his Filipino roots. The film follows Bay Area surfers who find waves in their Philippine hometowns and they get immersed in the local traditions as if getting sucked under by a wave. Perhaps only a Filipino would know the feeling of getting lost and finding home, right here.


If you are in the mood for introspection and conversation, watch any of these films and see where you are in your surfing journey. Got other inspiring surf films to recommend? Let us know in the comments.


Written by Camille Pilar (@camillepilar)

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