San Diego is rich in surf history and boasts a passionate surf community, which is why Pierce Michael Kavanagh couldn’t stop scratching his head last September while attending the New York Surf Film Festival. Where was San Diego's cinematic celebration of surfing?

Less than a year later, the San Diego Surf Film Festival was underway. This weekend, the SDSFF surpassed everyone's expectations for the inaugural event with a combination of feature films, shorts, beach cleanups, and shaping demos to create something that resonates with San Diego's beach culture and deep roots in surfing.

Held at everyone’s favorite Instagram opportunity, otherwise known as Bird's Surf Shed, the San Diego Surf Film Festival blended new with old, opening to a VIP list of filmmakers and artists with George Greenough's Innermost Limits of Pure Fun. Local submissions were also aplenty, with none quite so intimate as Derek Dunfee's Windansea, a revealing moving mosaic of the most recognizable faces in La Jolla. Other films included Mikey DeTemple’s Sight Sound, Doug Walker’s Lost & Found, David Bradbury’s Going Vertical, and many more.

Sitting beneath a solar system of surf history in Bird's shed, there could be no better place to celebrate surfing in San Diego. "The San Diego Surf Film Festival blew all of our expectations out of the water," says founder Pierce Kavanagh. "The audience response was simply overwhelming. I can't wait for next year."
—Jenna Klein

The SDSFF was held at Bird's Surf Shed, a Quonset hut that has been transformed into a true landmark in San Diego surfing. Photo: Glaser

Pierce Kavanagh, getting the festival underway under one of the world's most epic board collections. Photo: Glaser

Sight Sound director Mikey DeTemple, and surfboard collector and purveyor Eric "Bird" Huffman. Photo: Glaser

The event also featured a plethora of art and photography. Photo: Glaser

Photos of the surfboard and cinematic innovator George Greenough. Photo: Glaser

The San Diegan crowd, stoked to finally have a surf film festival with their name on it. Photo: Glaser

Bird's Surf Shed is made of the stuff that Instagram users dream of. Photo: Glaser

Mikey DeTemple and festival organizer Pierce Kavanagh. Photo: Glaser

Gerry Lopez, taking it off the top during the showing of Lost and Found. Photo: Glaser

The event organizers were stoked on an enthusiastic response from attendees. Photo: Glaser

San Diego's three-piece outfit, the Red Fox Tails, brought their fusion of surf rock, soul, and jazz to the festival's opening night. Photo: Glaser