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The Endless Summer

Ratings: 4.00/10 from 2 users.

The Endless SummerBefore there was sunscreen, high-tech wet suits, and corporate-sponsored surfing competitions, there was Bruce Brown, the original beach bum and the director of the greatest surf movie ever made, The Endless Summer. This 1966 documentary spurred a generation of surfers to devote their lives to surfing and compelled people in places far away from California and Hawaii to take up what was, at that time, still a faddish and exotic sport.

It’s built around a simple but brilliant concept: Two champion California surfers, Mike Hynson and Robert August, take a trip around the world, following the seasons so that wherever they go, it's always summer. From Australia to Africa to Tahiti, they travel the globe in search of the perfect wave.

In one of the documentary’s most memorable scenes, they instruct African tribal villagers who have never seen a surfboard in the fine points of hanging ten. Technically primitive by today’s standards, the film’s 16mm cinematography nonetheless captures the lyrical beauty of ‘60s long-board surfing.

Brown supplies the witty running narration and injects the film with frequent doses of goofy, slapstick humor. The Endless Summer is as laid back and fun loving as its surfing protagonists; yet, despite its utter lack of pretension, there is ultimately an underlying poetry in the surfer's' quest for an ideal.

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One Comment / User Review

  1. Bill Abbott

    A sweet, silly, movie, a summer vacation that never ends. Fans of semi-documentary works like Mythbusters or Survivor Man, cooking shows, how they do it shows, The Dog Whisperer, etc, will recognize these three guys, the two surfer and their pal with the camera who will help them realize their goal if he can film it... There's something wonderfully appealing about someone who is good at something and wants to share their gift and practice. Even if the "gift" is something ephemeral as surfing or *filming* surfers. My dad took me to see this in a movie theater when it was released nationwide, it was great then, its great now. And a real time capsule of 1966, when the world was scary and exhilarating and far bigger than it is today.