The classic 1966 documentary The Endless Summer by Buce Brown introduced audiences around the world to the glories of surfing and made the search for the perfect wave thrilling and epic. Now Brown’s son Dana has produced this follow-up, another movie about surfing and the people who love it that becomes a stirring tribute to waves and sun and the people who believe that they best honor nature and the farthest potential of the human spirit by riding on the waves.
You may believe that, too, as you see the heart-stoppingly magnificent swells on the most beautiful beaches of the world and the intrepid and deeply devoted people who surf them. Brown shows us children just beginning to surf and those who have been surfing for 30 or 40 years, amateurs and world champions. Some surf in sun-drenched resort areas, on ocean waves that lap up against sparkling white beaches. But we also see the dedicated surfers of Sheboygan, Wisconsin and those who chase supertankers off the coast of Texas to surf in their wakes. Three American brothers go to Ireland to surf on the craggy shores and bring Catholic and Protestant children together to learn to surf with them. A veteran who brought his surfboard with him to Viet Nam returns with his son to surf and meets up with the tiny but dedicated surfing club there. We see the original Gidget and the women she inspired and we catch up with the surfers from the original The Endless Summer. We meet a paraplegic man who broke his neck in a surfing accident but is still happiest when he is surfing. And we see surfers take on the biggest waves in the world, a “because it’s there” dream like that of conquering Mount Everest or walking on the moon.
The stories are striking, but this movie is all about the sights, and they are, simply, glorious. The cameras take us inside the pipe waves so that we can almost smell the saltwater. It is a very sweet ride.
Parents should know that the movie has no bad language, violence, nudity, or sexual references, but some risky behavior.
Families who see this movie should talk about the way that a common passion unites all of the very different people in the movie. What do you think about the idea that the best surfer in the world is the one who is having the most fun? Is there another sport (or any other activity) where attitude and a sense of humor is considered more important than talent and achievement?
Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy The Endless Summer and its sequel The Endless Summer 2, as well as surfing classics like Gidget, Blue Crush and Point Break.