Point Break. Easily my favorite. It’s got Keanu Reeves being earnest, which is when he comes closest to seeming like he can actually act, and Patrick Swayze as blonde-dyed Bodhi. Swayze sets the bar as the iconic laid-back, surf-as-Zen but oh yeah, has a secret surfer. I just rewatched it last week! Did you know they’re remaking it? Of course they are, because Hollywood can never leave perfection alone.
This is the ending, so SPOILER ALERT, but I love the way Bodhi is so completely fatalistic about the ocean’s power.
Bustin’ Down the Door. Narrated by Edward Norton, it’s a documentary about Australian and South African surfers who move to Hawaii in 1975 and change the face of surfing. Modern surfing as it is today probably wouldn’t exist without these guys and their (sometimes huge and trouble making) egos. It used to be available on Netflix, and I can’t seem to make the embed for the trailer work, but you can find it here.
Dear Suburbia. A surf documentary from 2012, it features time on the waves by Taj Burrow and John John Florence (two of my current favorite surfers) and a host of others. Plus lots of exotic, amazing locations. It’s a great taste of where surfing is right now.
Check out the trailer here.
Blue Crush. I feel like I should be ashamed of this, but…I’m not. It’s a wrong side of the tracks romance! It’s a girl surfer fighting for her place in the lineup, with a rich hero at her back. What can EVER go wrong with that? (Um, slightly shoddy acting, and a predictable script…but I ignore that.)
Momentum (1992) and Step Into Liquid. Cheating! I’m cheating by picking two! I know. I’m so bad. But I couldn’t decide. Let’s call it a tie? They’re both surf films, but they’re…well, they’re kind of the two opposite ends of the spectrum as far as style goes. And they’re both awesome!
Ah, no worries that you’re “cheating” with picking two, Lorelie, because Step Into Liquid is on my list, too, so it’s making our list anyway! Let’s call it number six, since it’d be my first choice! Here are the rest of mine:
Tied for first: The Endless Summer (1966) – This is a classic. Not only did it produce the most iconic surfing poster of all time, but it’s got the most laid-back, fun vibe about it. Directed and narrated by young Bruce Brown, it’s about two buddies who travel from LAX to Ghana, South Africa, Australia, and Hawaii, chasing “summer” and surf during a simpler time. It’s a documentary, but it’s fun, funny, and really such a great flash of the 1960s. You’ll feel great after watching this.
Tied for first: Step Into Liquid (2004) – This one’s sort of tied for No. 1, I love it so much. Also a documentary, it was made by Dana Brown, son of Bruce Brown of The Endless Summer. Awesome cinematography. But the best part is that you get to see surfing’s vast set of personalities that make up the sport. You get to meet the handsome and funny “Brothers Malloy” who surf in Ireland, Laird Hamilton who popularized “tow-in” big-wave surfing, Kelly Slater, Taj Burrow, Rob Machado, “Wingnut” Weaver – any of whom could make a great fiction hero! Here’s the trailer: http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=step+into+liquid&FORM=VIRE2#view=detail&mid=3A7A5F7F5151D0FDFAEC3A7A5F7F5151D0FDFAEC
The Endless Summer II (1994) – An update of the original, also by Bruce Brown, showing how surfing evolved over the preceding 30 years. This time he follows surfers “Wingnut” Weaver and Pat O’Connell around the world – lots of great cinematography, practical jokes, and craziness.
Riding Giants (2004) – This one’s about big-wave surfing (riding 20- to 30-foot waves), which is just astounding and nature-defying to watch. This documentary covers the powerhouse surfers who first rode Wiamea Bay in the 60s, Mavericks in the 90s, and other huge swells to the modern day, and you even meet the surfers who died trying to do it. You also get Laird Hamilton’s story here, which seems like a fictional novel anyway.
The gray-green swells of San Sebastian haven’t changed in ten years, but Tanner Wright has. The last thing he expects to find back on his home turf is the love of his life….
With a make-or-break world championship on the line, professional surfer Tanner Wright has come back to the coastal California hometown he left a decade ago, carrying only his board and the painful knowledge of his father’s infidelity. Now that Hank Wright is dead, Tanner intends to keep the secret buried to spare his mother and sister the burden.
The last time Avalon Knox saw her best friend’s brother, she was fourteen and he was a twenty-year-old surfer god. She’s never understood or respected the way Tanner distanced himself from the family that has embraced her. But now she has the professional chance of a lifetime: to photograph Tanner for the competition—if he’ll agree.
Out on the waves, they find in each other passion that’s impossible to resist. And Tanner’s not the only one trying to move forward from his past. As the competition heats up, secrets get spilled, and lust takes over. How close can Avalon get to this brooding surfer…without getting burned?
Lorelie Brown Bio:
After a semi-nomadic childhood throughout California, Lorelie Brown spent high school in Orange County before joining the US Army. After traveling the world from South Korea to Italy, she’s returned home to California. Lorelie has three active sons and a tiny shih-tzu who thinks he’s son number three—not four, he’s too important to be the baby. Writing romance helps her escape a house full of testosterone.
Lorelie Brown social media links:
Riding the Wave buy links:
A sparkling debut romance where a getaway vacation turns into an unexpected new beginning……
For the last five years, Giselle McCabe’s life has been about sippy cups and playdates. But when her husband suddenly leaves her, Giselle flees to her sister’s California beach house for a two-week getaway. Out of her element, she’s surprised to receive such a warm welcome—especially from gorgeous celebrity athlete Fin Hensen……
Fin is escaping his pro tour for a season, trying to lie low until all the hubbub over a huge mistake in his past blows over. And when he sets his sights on Giselle, he realizes that the beautiful good girl just might be the ticket to his success.
But Giselle never expected romance to enter the picture again—especially with a hot twentysomething from a completely different world. And even though it feels like Fin is everything she’s trying to run away from, she can’t help coming back for more…
Lauren Christopher bio:
After graduating with an English degree from UCLA, Lauren launched a 23-year career as a nonfiction writer and editor — writing more than 100 newspaper, magazine, and online articles on everything from the history of auto racing to the origins of Santa Claus. Lauren lives in Southern California with her husband and three teenage children.
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