The Endless Summer (and how to pronounce 'Surfing')

The Endless Summer: what a movie! I had never seen it and had thought it was a fiction film. I didn't know it was a 'documentary' (until I read Riding the Magic Carpet). It grabbed me from the beginning (with the wonderful narration by Bruce Brown) when he first mentions "surfiiiiiiiiing". So that's how it should be pronounced! I bet I'm about the only person in the world who hadn't seen it but if there's one more person out there who hasn't then beg, borrow or steal a copy as soon as possible.

I haven't seen many surfing movies so far but having seen The Present, Sprout and The Endless Summer I can see that there is an 'art form' in the narration of surf documentary type films. I have also seen Riding Giants but there's no great shakes with the narration of that film. The style and fun of the narration in the Endless Summer is brilliant from gloriously funny cynicism to beautiful words like "the kind of a wave that makes you talk to yourself". I wasn't expecting anything like the wonderful scenes in Africa when after leaving Senegal Michael Hynson and Robert August arrive, in their suits, in Accra (Ghana). Firstly the hilarious transport of their boards from the airport to the excitement and joy shown by the locals when they see them surfing for the first time and then join in. It's not only heartwarming but shows real significance in surfing as an involvement in/with the world.

The beginning is great - the footage of Mickey Dora and then the travelling in Africa down to South Africa (where they come within a whisper of discovering J-Bay) and find 'a Perfect Wave' at Cape St Francis being the most memorable parts. Right, I'm off to watch it again. Tally-hooooooooooo!


  1. Man, I haven't seen the original in years! I think I'm going to watch it again after reading your post. Such a great film! We watched a longboarding film called Picaresque the other night. It has a killer soundtrack, but not much narrative other than in the bonus features. Happy Wave Riding!

  2. Cheers TallGuy, and thanks for the tip: Picaresque looks good (but due to budget constraints I'll have to just wait and put it on my list for Santa!)


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