7 Movies to Inspire Your Next Surf Trip

by Robert Hing on Mar 28, 2023

7 Movies to Inspire Your Next Surf Trip

Surfing movies are our favourite types of films out there. Anyone can enjoy them, but for us beach enthusiasts, they inspire new trips and adventures (besides being Netflix & Chill goals). The only problem is - they are not that easy to find. That’s why we created this list – so you don’t have to.

Here are 7 movies that will probably inspire your next surf trip, or keep you motivated when you need them most:

  1. Chasing Mavericks (2012)
Chasing Mavericks

In this adventure based on the incredible tale of surfer Jay Moriarity (Jonny Weston), a young surfing prodigy seeks the help of an old pro to ride a truly huge wave. Moriarty, a Santa Cruz kid with a natural ability for surfing, is drawn to Mavericks, California’s most dangerous surf break.

Moriarty recognises how little experience he has with such a huge objective, so in order to be well-prepared, he seeks the counsel of veteran surfer Frosty Hesson (Gerard Butler). Meanwhile, as Moriarty learns how to balance and focus under pressure from Hesson, the two surfers form a strong friendship that allows them to face the massive challenge before them.



  1. Bra Boys (2007)
Bra Boys

First officially permitted documentary about Maroubra’s notorious surf gang and about the surf localism that they enforced. It explores their reputation for hard-partying and harsh justice, as well as their running fight with authorities and reliance on one another to fit into and survive in a society where they are alienated.

The film explores the history of Maroubra, the iconic seaside suburb on Sydney’s northern beaches, and how it became associated with Australia’s rebellious surfing culture. As fellow Aussies - this is one of the most intense surfing movies we have ever watched.



  1. The Endless Summer (1966)
The Endless Summes

In this documentary, director Bruce Brown explores the surfing culture and lifestyle that has been popularised in America by surfers like himself. He also goes into detail about the development of surfboard-making technology and the commercialisation of the sport. This movie has a very classic surf visual aesthetic.

After all these years, the endless summer is still with us. The movie follows surfers Mike Hynson and Robert August as they travel around the world trying to find that perfect wave. Their journey takes them from California to Morocco — but it’s not just about surfing; “the search” becomes a metaphor for life. This is a classic piece of surf cinema.


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  1. Soul Surfer (2011)
Soul Surfer

Based on the story of surfing legend Bethany Hamilton, who is attacked by a shark on her way to surf in a surfing event. She loses her left arm as a result of the attack and decides not to let this incident stop her from fulfilling her dream of being a professional surfer.

The film stars Anna Sophia Robb as Hamilton. It also features Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt in supporting roles, with Carrie Underwood performing the movie’s theme song “There is a Reason”. This is one of the most inspiring surfing movies that remind you to never give up on your dreams.

  1. Point Break (1991)
Point Break

For those 90’s lovers, Point Break is about a young FBI agent that must go undercover to catch a surfing criminal. Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) is an eager new FBI recruit who gets put on the fast track thanks to some well-placed connections. His first assignment: join and get close to a gang of surfers who call themselves The Ex-Presidents. Utah is convinced they’re just a bunch of good-time, pot-smoking beach bums with no connection to serious crime–until they start stealing high-stakes bank vaults in Southern California’s coastal cities.

As he moves deeper into their world, and under cover of his new name Johnny Utah, Johnny learns how this tight-knit band of brothers lives both on and off the waves. This is an awesome piece of surf cinema.

  1. Bustin Down the Door (2008)
Bustin' Down The Door

The surfing world was rocked to its core in 1975 in Hawaii. A band of young surfers from Australia and South Africa sacrificed everything for the creation of a sport, culture, and industry that are now worth billions of dollars and have captured the attention of the globe.

With a unique approach and a gutsy colonial attitude, these surfers rushed headlong into a society that was not expecting this revolution. Surfing will never be the same again.

  1. Riding Giants (2004)
Ridin' Giants

The film is narrated by legend Peter Townend, Australian big wave surfer who rode many of the waves featured in the movie. Riding Giants documents 20 years of big-wave surfing between 1968 and 1987, focusing on the surfers Fred Hemmings, Greg Noll, Jeff Clark; and their impact on Hawaiian surfing culture. This is one of the best surf movies of recent times.

Through interviews with surfers, historians and scientists Riding Giants attempts to answer several questions: What is the relationship between man and nature in big-wave surfing? What are the limits of human endurance when it comes to conquering Mother Nature’s most powerful forces? And what will be the future of these “extreme” sports like surfing. 

If this list inspired you, make sure you check out our ultimate checklist: What To Pack For Your Next Surf Trip. And if you are missing some items, remember to use the code DryYourself for 15% off on your surf trip essentials: beach towels, surf ponchos and reusable water bottles.

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