On Aug. 8, 2017, the gnarly surfer-girl movie "Blue Crush" celebrates its 15th anniversary. Starring Mika Boorem, Michelle Rodriguez, Kate Bosworth and Sanoe Lake, the iconic film was one of the first to explore the life of women competing in the surfing world. In honor of the film's anniversary, Wonderwall.com assembled a list of the best surfing movies ever made. Keep reading to find out which flicks will make you want to grab a board and hang 10 this summer…
"The Endless Summer," 1966
Considered one of the most classic surfing films to date, "The Endless Summer" is a documentary that follows the lives of two surfers, Mike Hynson and Robert August, as they travel across the globe to pursue their passion for major waves.
"Five Summer Stories," 1972
When "Five Summer Stories" was released in 1972, America was at war with Vietnam and surfing, once seen as a rebellious sport, was redefining itself as a serious athletic event. This stunning documentary tells the stories of major surfing legends of the time, like Eddie Aikau and Gerry Lopez (pictured here in 2011).
"Big Wednesday," 1978
The film "Big Wednesday" starring Gary Busey, William Katt and Jan-Michael Vincent centered around three young men whose passion for surfing kept them connected through war, death and the closing of a pivotal chapter in their lives. The coming-of-age drama was based on the real-life experiences of director John Milius and writer Dennis Aaberg.
"North Shore," 1987
One part romance and one part coming-of-age story, "North Shore" is the story of a young man who travels to the North Shore of Oahu to surf its infamous big waves only to find he has a lot to learn about the culture and about the true art of surfing.
"Point Break," 1991
Possibly one of the greatest fictional surfing films of all time, the original "Point Break" is an action-packed thriller about an undercover agent who infiltrates a surfing gang he suspects is behind a series of heists. Starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze, the blockbuster hit became a cult favorite among surfers and surf-lovers.
"The Endless Summer II," 1994
Almost 30 years after releasing his first hit surfing documentary, "The Endless Summer," Bruce Brown returned for a follow-up with "The Endless Summer II." Starring American surfers Pat O'Connell and Robert "Wingnut" Weaver, the film revisits some of the same iconic locations as the first movie while delving into the changing landscape of surfing.
"Occy the Occumentary," 1998
Based on the life and surfing comeback of Mark Occhilupo, "Occy the Occumentary" isn't shy on humor or great music (the soundtrack features The Foo Fighters). The film explores Mark's childhood and passion for surfing. It even went on to win Surfer Magazine's Video of the Year Award.
"The September Sessions," 2002
Back when surfing legend Kelly Slater had some hair on his head (and his pal Rob Machado didn't have so much hair), he brought another well-known surfer friend by the name of Jack Johnson with him to Sumatra to film the gang during a retreat. The result? This breathtaking documentary directed by Jack long before he became one of our favorite singers ever.
"Step Into Liquid," 2003
Filmed by Dana Brown, the son of surfing great and documentary filmmaker Bruce Brown (of "The Endless Summer" fame), "Step Into Liquid" travels the world from Vietnam to Hawaii and even Ireland with various surfers, some of whom see surfing as merely a hobby and others who feel it's a way of life.
"Billabong Odyssey," 2003
"Billabong Odyssey" is a riveting water adventure that takes a look at high-impact surfing across six continents. This documentary, which showcased waves up to 70 feet high, featured some of the most talented mega-wave surfers in the world on their hunt for the "big one."
"Riding Giants," 2004
One of the first documentary films to incorporate historical and amateur footage into its storytelling about the lives of its stars — surfing greats Greg Knoll, Laird Hamilton and Jeff Clark — "Riding Giants" is more than a film about big-wave surfing. It explores how the sport went from being considered a recreational outlet for social outcasts to a respected athletic event around the world.
"The Bra Boys," 2007
Narrated by Russell Crowe, "The Bra Boys" is an intense documentary about the lives of guys from a notorious surf gang in Maroubra (the eastern suburb of Sydney). Starring Koby Abberton, Sunny Abberton and Macario De Souza, the film was an international hit and featured an appearance from one of the biggest names in surfing, Kelly Slater.
"Surf's Up," 2007
The only animated film to make our list is none other than the family flick "Surf's Up" featuring the voices of Shia LaBeouf, Jeff Bridges and Zooey Deschanel. The heart-warming documentary-style story focuses on a young penguin named Cody (Shia) who dreams of nothing more than becoming a surfing legend — until he meets someone who teaches him what's truly important in life.
"Soul Surfer," 2011
Based on the triumphant true story of Bethany Hamilton — a young surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack — "Soul Surfer" doesn't rely on tragedy. Instead, the movie, which stars AnnaSophia Robb, Carrie Underwood and Dennis Quaid, focuses on how Bethany overcame her injury and discovered an even greater purpose in life — helping others in need.
"A Deeper Shade of Blue," 2011
From the beginning, "A Deeper Shade of Blue" insists it isn't merely a movie about surfing. Instead, the film explores the beginnings of surf culture including the history and legends of Hawaii's first surfers. Combining mesmerizing cinematography and fascinating storylines, this documentary goes deeper than most to uncover the roots of wave-riding.
"Chasing Mavericks," 2012
"Chasing Mavericks" is as much about youthful exuberance as it is about surfing. When a young man (Jonny Weston) learns that one of the biggest waves in the world is just a few miles from his California home, he turns to a local surfing pro (Gerard Butler) to teach him the tricks of the trade so he can conquer the mighty waters.
The Australian film "Drift" might not have been a huge hit, but the storyline, which focuses on the struggle young surfers in the '70s faced in order to remain true to their passion, is a powerful one. Starring Sam Worthington, this fictional drama also has some killer surf scenes.
"Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau," 2013
Produced by ESPN, the soulful documentary "Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau" explores the life of one of the most legendary Hawaiian surfers of all time. Using first-person narratives, news clips and evocative storytelling, viewers learn about what drove Eddie to some of the most dangerous waters in Hawaii and how he overcame hardship to earn the respect of his peers around the world. The documentary even examines Eddie's disappearance and suspected drowning while paddling for help to save the crew of the capsized Hokule'a in March 1978.
"View From a Blue Moon," 2015
"View From a Blue Moon" was the first surf film shot in 4K resolution, which made its stunning surf scenes so vivid, they make the viewer feel like they're in the water watching the action first-hand. The documentary follows pipe surfer John John Florence as he travels around the world with his friends exploring the waves from his Hawaiian home all the way to the darkest depths of South Africa.
"The Shallows," 2016
Okay, so maybe "The Shallows" isn't necessarily a great surf film, but it's a heart-thumping thriller that involves surfing (and our fave, Blake Lively), so we couldn't dismiss it. While surfing just 200 yards from the shore, Blake's character is attacked by a great white shark (eek!) and must fight to stay alive, all while keeping the animal away from her fresh wounds.
Told through the eyes of a 6-year-old boy, "Given" is the story of a professional surfing family — Damian and Daize Goodwin and their children, Given and True — who travel from their quiet surfing hometown in Kauai through 15 countries to explore surf culture around the world. Produced by Netflix, this unique family takes the surfing lifestyle to a whole new level.