Surf movies help us through the flat spells, delivering a direct saline hit of stoke-filled celluloid to revive the soul. The best films fire up the wander-lust for new horizons or stir-up the nostalgia, enticing us to revisit old haunts and old friends.
The first Annual Approaching Lines Festival: Cinematic Surf Sessions hits the UK 24th – 26th April bringing to the Southwest a three-night extravaganza of international surfing’s most exciting releases, delivering fresh inspiration for adventures in far flung destinations from the Arctic circle and Russia to the tropics of Indonesia and beyond. In celebration of this, we caught up with Approaching Lines Creative Director Demi Taylor to get her top 5 classic surf / travel films.
For details and full line up information about the festival: http://approachinglines.com/festival-home/
Endless Summer, 1966
It’s an obvious choice but no surf travel movie list would be complete without Bruce Brown’s hyperbolic hit. Following the smartly suited Mike Hynson and Robert August as they trip the planet from Senegal to Hawaii in search of the perfect wave, accompanied by surf slide guitar and fact filled narration, this seminal film opened everyone’s eyes to the possibilities that lay on distant shores and the surf travel era was born.
Crystal Voyager, 1973
Ever dream of making your own boat and sailing off in search of uncrowded waves? Well, that’s exactly what George Greenough did. Before that, this knee-boarding mat surfing savant helped shape the shortboard era, invented the surf camera, and befriended gods of rock Pink Floyd. Crystal Voyager sees these elements come together in one eye-widening, mind expanding showcase of sight and sound, delivering a surfer’s eye perspective, taking the viewer deep inside the tube for the first time – without George Greenough you wouldn’t even know you wanted a GoPro.
Green Iguana, 1992
Jack McCoy has been a long time master of the surf movie from the age of VHS to the digital download. There is a whole generation of surfers who only have to hear a few chords of INXS to visualize scenes of Occy destroying yet another tropical right hander with his patented back hand hacks. Green Iguana perfectly captures an era when surfing was all about power and surf trips were all about boardies. Not that McCoy took it all too seriously, his films were imbibed with a spirit of fun and the action cut with random appearances of giant cartoon lizards, hula girls, exploding volcanoes all brought to life with stunning 1990’s computer graphics.
Litmus Andrew Kidman, 1996
Litmus was almost a proto-hipster project – but in a good way. At a time when surfing was all about the bright young tings, Litmus encapsulated an appreciation of those surfers who had gone before and shaped surf culture – Derek Hynd, Wayne Lynch, Tom Curren. Kidman packaged the film as an entire artistic endeavour – placing as much importance on the recording and sourcing of the music as capturing the surf action in the water. Watching the Ireland section and hearing ‘The Screaming Orphans’ recorded live by Kidman, you can help but be transported to the emerald isle.
Stoked & Broke, 2010
Pitched as “A staycation surfari epic on zero dollars”, Stoked and Broke is an Endless Summer for this generation. Reclaiming the surf trip from the long haul and imbuing it with a DIY mentality, Cyrus Sutton and Ryan Burch set off on a 30 mile road trip carrying their world (backyard boards and hobo stoves) on homemade bamboo rickshaws. This award winning film is a testament to the fact that the notion of travel and adventure is purely a state of mind.