The Art of The Surf Movie

Posted By : original/ 19 0

We don’t surf and yoga *all* day long here at Original Surf Morocco. Sometimes we just like to cosy up on our big comfy sofas and watch a movie … a surf movie of course!

From the early days as surfing gained popularity in America and across the world, the surf movie emerged as a companion to the adventure. Surfers would capture each others’ moves on camera and splice in footage of their seemingly idyllic lifestyle and before long these films were gaining popularity and hitting full-screen cinemas. From Bud Browne’s Hawaiian Surfing Movie in 1953 the genre has never died and surf film festivals are held all around the world.

Making a surf  film is a lifestyle in itself. To capture the action and experience cinematographers must travel to the same spots, carry their equipment, face the same weather and conditions as the surfers themselves. More often than not they will be sitting in the line up alongside the guys they are filming. The finished films tend to reflect this, having some of the fluidity, freedom and creativity that comes with the lifestyle and attitude of a dedicated surfer.

So here are our favourite surf movies, and why we love them.


Chasing Mavericks would have to be my top choice. Firstly, because of the story. But it is also a film that, when you watch it, can really teach you something about surfing big waves. When you get out there you have to understand nature, in big surf you are against forces that can kill you.


I’d have to choose between two and they are both pretty different. Mark Walter’s, The Salt Trail is a film that, when I watched it, sent shivers down my spine. It really captures the spirit of surfing and travel for me. And of course it is beautifully shot. Then there’s the Vissla short Dream Steeple: a totally different film and I love it because it brings together a lot of music and craziness into one film that’s just fun. And the range of surfers reminds me there is no ‘right way’ to surf.


Anything by John John Florence. With his films you get to see So many different places, surf spots, around the world And that’s what makes surfing special – you get to travel without boundaries. It makes the world, and all the people in it, closer together.

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