10 Must-See Surf Films

According to Filmmaker Cyrus Sutton

Cyrus Sutten's films are known for their offbeat examinations of surf culture. Check below for the film projects that have inspired him. Photo: Maassen

Musica Surfica
"A smart, fun film that perfectly captures the simple stoke of surfing. This film exposed many people to Derek Hynd's finless experiments, and it was cool to hear surfing paired with the classical music of violinist/conductor/composer Richard Tognetti."

Ride A White Horse
"Bob Evans' 1968 film captured the most progressive period of longboard development, when McTavish, Lynch, Midget, Nat, Ted Spencer, Drouyn, and others were pushing the limits of their designs on clean Australian pointbreaks. Great custom jazz soundtrack, too."

Dolphin Glide
"I was lucky enough to watch a preview copy of the unreleased dolphin-surfing homage a few years back and was blown away. George Greenough mounted a camera to the bow of a boat and traveled with dolphin pods. The lens was mounted in such a way that it paned laterally as the boat turned mimicking the point of view of a dolphin so perfectly it blew my mind."

Last Hope
"I really liked Andrew Kidman's concept of bringing together different filmmakers in one film. Richard Kenvin’s section about saving the Windansea parking lot is classic."

One California Day
"The best compilation of waves and personalities on the California coast I've ever seen. Shot in super 16mm film and with a good soundtrack."

The Big Surf
"If you're a filmmaker, you'll be blown away at Bud Browne's water footage from a 1957 swell at Waimea Bay using a military surplus 16mm camera and a homemade rubber housing."

Pacific Vibrations
"SURFER Magazine founder John Severson's contraband classic, featuring incredible surfing and art direction. Some great stuff by artist Rick Griffin, and a rocking (and never legally cleared) soundtrack by some the '60s best bands."

Runmental
"Runman's films were super raw super 8mm looks at a different side of '90s surfing. Runmental is kind of like the …Lost films but more artsy and featuring secret Hawaiian perfection and the Irons brothers shredding as groms."

BS!
"My favorite modern surf flick by far. Not just another chest-beating montage of huge airs and barrels, but a quirky, fun showcase of futuristic performances by Mitch Coleburn, Dusty Payne and others."

Between the Lines
"An interesting look at surfing during the Vietnam War era. Much more emotional depth and moral complexity than I'd expected, and it raised as many questions as it provided answers. Good production value and storyline make it go down smooth as well."
Watch the trailer here.