With summer heralding a warm embrace and the beaches beckoning all and sundry, the siren song of the surf is nearly impossible to resist.
For those who would rather spectate than participate (or simply can't find a wetsuit that accommodates a decidedly British sense of fashion), a world of cinematic treasures awaits.
A celebration of wave-riding escapades, short surf films offer a delightful paddle into a vast ocean of human drama, athletic prowess, and salt-sprayed adventure.
From the shimmering shores of Hawaii to the rugged coastlines of Cornwall, these films bring us face-to-face with nature's might, where surfers dance and dart across furious waves, not unlike an Englishman trying to navigate a sun-soaked beach with a piping hot cup of tea in hand.
While the waves themselves are the stars, it's the surfers, filmmakers, and the unending quest for the perfect ride that bring these short films to life.
So grab your board, or perhaps a more agreeable armchair, and prepare to dive into a selection of 50 short surf films that aren't merely a footnote in cinema but rather a thrilling narrative of humanity's romance with the sea.
You don't have to be a surf enthusiast to be carried away by the tide; these films have something for everyone.
And the best part? You won't even have to get your feet wet. Alternatively, spare some time to check our list of favorite feature films about surfing.
Fear not, dear reader, you won't find any mention here of "riding the wave of life" or other such clichés.
Instead, buckle up for a genuine ride through the cinematic surf, where every wave is a story, and every splash is a melody. Hmmm... Were these last two metaphors clichés?
Just mind the undertow; it has a cheeky habit of sneaking up on you.
"Kook Paradise" is one part social commentary, one part comedy, and one heaping spoonful of reality.
"Kook Paradise" is filmed on location at Ditch Plains Beach, highlighting the surf culture in and out of the water.
It is shot in the style of the surfing films from the 1960s, bringing levity and humor to that which surrounds surfing's current popularity in NY in particular.
"Kook Paradise" is a place where all your surfing fantasies become reality. Everyone is welcome in "Kook Paradise." And remember - it's all a dream.
Directed by Danny Dimauro and Tin Ojeda.
Made in April 2010 for Korduroy TV, this short follows tarp surfing pioneers Dodge Weirath and Wyatt Brady as they explain how they created tarp surfing.
Watch how two young surfers set up their 50-foot tarp on the street.
Filmed and Edited by Cyrus Sutton. Music by the Blank Tapes.
The Dill & Beeg Project
Dillon Perillo and Brendon Gibbens spent 365 days traveling around the world.
Their goal was to score great waves, have fun, and get a good film of their journey.
The result is "The Dill & Beeg Project." The duo visited Reunion Island, P-Pass, California, Portugal, Western Australia, and Sumbawa.
Paul McCartney recruited award-winning surf filmmaker Jack McCoy to create a music video for his previously unreleased track "Blue Sway."
Written nearly 20 years ago, McCartney's never-before-released song, "Blue Sway," is available for the first time on the bonus audio disc of the special edition of McCartney II.
The music video created by McCoy is also featured on the bonus DVD included in the set.
Jack McCoy has been capturing the surfing vision in a truly unique way.
Using a high-powered underwater jet ski, the filmmaker found that he was able to travel behind a wave, creating underwater images that have never been seen before.
McCoy spent the next six weeks creating the music video while also working full days on making "A Deeper Shade of Blue."
McCoy compiled and edited footage that he filmed off Tahiti's Teahupoo reef to create what became the "Blue Sway" video.
A Brief History: Terry Martin
Terry Martin's first encounters with surfing, shaping, and crashing motorcycles.
"Terry Martin is probably the best shaper to ever live. Considering he has hand shaped over 80,000 boards in his lifetime for people such as Gerry Lopez, Phil Edwards, Shawn Stussy, Hobie, Dale Velzy, Stewart, and many more".
"Terry saw the evolution of the surfboard firsthand through the shaping bay from wood to light foam. He could make anything, and it would work, whether it was a modern shortboard or noserider. He understood water flow and what a surfboard needs to do - to make a surfer have fun."
"He was the Santa Claus of shaping, joyfully hand-making all his toys for his children. Terry, you will be missed by many."
Directed by Tyler Manson.
Fathoms Left To Fall
A short surf film of one epic day of huge surf during March 2012 at Mullaghmore Head, County Sligo.
The yin and yang of a trip. The highs and the lows. The epic rides and the epic falls. Surfing isn't an easy game to get right. Once in a lifetime, 50-foot faces followed by an endless search for shelter.
Tides reveal dry reefs; squalls break promises. Rain dampens enthusiasm, talk of hidden secrets abound, but the wind in its infinite wisdom keeps them just that, secret.
There's no urgency; yesterday's euphoria still burns. Another trip, another day. No fathoms left to fall.
Starring Gabe Davies, Richie Fitzgerald, Fergal Smith, Tom Lowe, Ollie O'Flaherty, Eric Rebiere, Paul O'Kane, Neil Britton, Tom Butler, Sebastian Steudtner, Andrew Cotton, and Al Mennie.
A Northcore film. Directed by Chris McClean.
Invasion! From Planet C
They're coming to take your waves! They're coming to take your women!
"Invasion! From Planet C" is a full-length surfing movie with a science fiction plot.
Shot in New Zealand, Costa Rica, Australia, and California, it stars Mike Black as Gnar Gnar and Matteo Plummer as Casanova.
The movie is directed by David M. Potter and marks Mike and David's third feature film collaboration.
Music for the movie was made by Dark Dark Mask, Defenders of the Universe, Loafer, SSNNDDRR, Nick Stellino, Christopher Jones, and The White Buffalo.
Guest surfing appearances by Dan Klemann and Ty Williams.
"Ocean Monk" chronicles the inner and outer search of a group of monks who make their home in New York City.
Students of the late Indian teacher Sri Chinmoy, who lived in Queens for over 40 years, this band of friends discovered the beauty and power of the nearby surfing beaches and incorporated their love for the ocean into their search for enlightenment.
"Ocean Monk" explores the ideals which drive their life as well as the pounding winter surf which sustains them.
The film includes appearances by Kelly Slater, Jack Johnson, Titus Kinimaka, and Sri Chinmoy.
Music featured in the film is by Sigur Ros, Wixel, Parichayaka Hammerl, and Mark Swiderski.
Another Day in the Life of Wayne Lynch
Wayne Lynch is a surfing legend, blazing individualistic pathways in both the performance and the lifestyle.
Ascending during a time of great change and experimentation, Wayne took up the mantle personally, redefining what a surfboard should look like and how it should be ridden.
Much of this innovation is done outside of surfing's athletic or institutional complexes.
Today, Wayne's life is almost as it was 40 years ago. He still shapes surfboards and still lives simply by the sea.
Were it not for his recent heart attack, both the observer and Wayne himself could be forgiven for thinking things had stayed the same, despite how they had changed.
But serious jeopardy to anyone's health, our surfing heroes included, can have a way of radically altering everything underneath the surface, appearances be damned. A rebirth into the same skin.
In this two-part portrait, filmmaker Cyrus Sutton provides a window into Lynch's new life. With a nod to Jack McCoy's "Tubular Swells," "Another Day in the Life" is crafted with ultra-fine cinematography and a spare and modernist feel.
The viewer is transported back to the Wayne Lynch they grew up idolizing while making current those admirations and anchoring them in the reality of human mortality.
30 Days Without Surfing
"30 Days Without Surfing" is Driftwood Collective's attempt to create a short film about crafting, love, and the Absolute.
It portrays all the time spent in between swells when you start questioning yourself and how creativity is ever linked with making the most of what you got.
By Driftwood Collective and with the Driftwood Collective crew.
The story of a crazy surfboard shaper and surfer known for his talent and vision when in the shaping bay.
"The Shaper" is an inspiring story of how to design surfboards that don't quite meet the surfer's needs.
Directed by Jeremy Joyce, Rich Pearn, and Rob Lockyear. Cinematography by Jeremy Joyce, Rich Pearn, and Rob Lockyear.
Featuring James Hogg.
Follow the Sun
Reef and Xavier Rudd collaborate to bring you a tribute to International Surfing Day titled "Follow the Sun," where the surf community stops and pays respect to our Mother Ocean through surf culture participation and ocean preservation.
Reef invites you to join in the fun and start surfing and loving our oceans today.
All Points South
Surfers are a litmus test of the health of our oceans.
This new film by Save The Waves Coalition, "All Points South," relates how surfers and fishermen in Chile fight against rampant pollution from the pulp industry and how consumers can help by making better choices when buying paper.
With world-class surfing at some of the planet's best point breaks, this is the story of a group of surfers and their effort to expose the injustice being done by a powerful, worldwide industry.
Featured surfers: Ramon Navarro, Keith Malloy, Timmy Turner, Joao de Macedo, León Vicuña, Nano Zegers, Edgar Nozes, Brett Schwartz.
Directed by Sachi Cunningham.
Andy Irons - I Surf Because
Andy Irons is one of the world's greatest-ever surfers.
He is a three-time world champion made famous by his epic battles with Kelly Slater.
But outside all the victories, Andy's life started to take a turn, and his fire was starting to go out. He left the sport in search of himself and took it all back to basics.
"I surf because... it keeps my life at an even keel. Without it, I would tip into oblivion."
The Surf Magazines Don't Talk About Lapsed Catholics
"The Surf Magazines Don't Talk About Lapsed Catholics" is a surf film about an endless search, perhaps more universal but less embraced.
A short surf film about the silent majority.
As the popularity of surfing as a pastime increases, merging with mainstream media to become ever more accessible to the public, a small but crucial element is often overlooked.
An insightful, original, thought-provoking story that all surfers will relate to.
Directed by Todd Stewart.
Three different women are united by surfing.
"Away" is a short documentary film that looks at the subculture of New York City surfing through the lens of these women, divulging the highs and lows of riding waves at Rockaway Beach, Queens.
With Katrina Del Mar, Jee Mee Kim, Mary Leonard.
Directed by Elisa Bates.
The first short surf film to feature a sonorous tribute to Mozart's "Große Messe."
This avant-garde surf short illustrates the fluidity, grace, and humor of the surfing experience.
Directed by Suyen Mosley.
"Ice Board," conceptualized and directed by Conn Bertish, is a short film that tells the story of Conn Bertish's remarkable visual art creation, the Ice Board.
Bertish, a Capetonian surfer, activist, and creative director, came up with the innovative idea to highlight the plight of our oceans by shaping a life-sized surfboard sculpted entirely from ice.
The board of ice is a simple metaphor for what is happening right now to all the world's glaciers and ice caps.
As this board melts, so do our glaciers and million-year-old ice caps. So we each need to take stock of how our actions are affecting the increase in global warming.
The board is a simple graphic reminder of this.
The "Ice Board" was displayed at Depasco Café in Kloof Street, Cape Town, on Wednesday, December 9, 2009.
The melting board served as a visual poem, underlining the global warming crisis in a powerful way.
La Ruta Norte
"La Ruta Norte" is a short surf film by Spanish pro surfer Kepa Acero.
Prepare for a journey of 979 kilometers, shooting, surfing, and meeting people.
Photographer Iker Basterretxea "Roke" and the surfer Kepa Acero, hand to hand. By bike, with a surfboard and cameras.
Wishing they will meet many waves, many people.
When "Big Wednesday" went south, so did its star, Jan-Michael Vincent. He hauled the film's screenwriter, Denny Aaberg, with him. Turns out Denny had a Super-8 Camera.
Across the border and into the hills they went. To the ag towns and bracero buses of the Valle de San Quintin. Through the sage-to-Sonoran transition zone of Rosario de Arriba.
Past the charismatic mega flora of the Valle de los Cirios. Onward through the featureless Vizcaino. And finally - finally! - to San Juanicio, Rattlesnake Point, Punta Pequena, and Scorpion Bay.
In this short film excerpted from the e-book "Big Wednesday Redux," you'll see Scorpion one year after the trans-peninsula highway was opened.
No streets, no services, no Gringo Hill. Hardscrabble, empty, and perfect. Aaberg and Vincent surfed, drank, and licked their wounds.
As the film's Matt Barlow, Jan-Michael, said, "I surf just 'cause it's good to ride with your friends."
Here's Jan - and Denny - doing just that.
Short surf documentary that shows the process of building an empty wooden surfboard.
With this board-building method by Tom Blake, they were made about 20 kilograms lighter than those of the 1920s, which were solid and heavier.
Waste wood from yards and streets garbage containers is reused to create this surfboard, working with fretsaw, sandpaper, and plane only.
Directed by Kepa Alvarez Ruiz.
"Drawing Lines" is a movie about Ryan Hammers and Paul Gerrety.
They've just graduated college and are looking forward to one more surf trip before moving on with their careers.
Their goal is to surf every state on the east coast, from the warm, sandy beaches of Florida to the cold, rocky coastline of Maine.
Being from Florida, the guys knew that Hurricane Season would be their best chance to catch good waves.
It was late summer and nearing the peak of hurricane season, and the guys were ready to get on the road.
Shot in a 16 mm film by Dustin Miller, this short depicts an evening session at Jeffery's Bay in South Africa with WCT professionals like Kelly Slater and Damien Hobgood.
Couple of beautiful evenings with waves shredded by Jimmy Slades and Cliff.
Modernist Basque Surfing
"Modernist Basque Surfing" is a mixture of the Basque roots and surfing in Biarritz.
Directed by Iker Treviño and Xabier Zirikiain.
They were influenced by underground European filmmakers like Sergei Parajanov or Jean-Luc Godard.
Dark Side of the Lens
"Darkside of the Lens" offers a surreal, ethereal, passionate, and personal glimpse into the life and motivations of an ocean-based photographer - working on a magical yet isolated, frozen, and dangerous stretch of the Irish coastline.
Indeed, the film itself becomes a visual poem of sorts, set in a mind-blowing environment of epic heavy waves, strange sea life, and monolithic stunning cliff lines.
Land, sea, and wavescapes illustrate the grandeur of this environment, and huge explosions of water bring their realities home as the photographer swims through the epicenter of it all.
Directed by Mickey Smith.
Filmmaker John Lynch, known for capturing powerful surf footage around the globe, digs deeper into this film to explore how standard tourism can transcend into life-altering experiences.
Shot single-handedly by Lynch over the course of a several-week stint in Indonesia, the film chronicles the evolution of his journey.
Surfing by Kimbo, Lucas Vasquez , Jaime OʼBrien, John Florence and Pat Gudauskas.
John Lynch IV picked up a camera at age ten and never looked back. A dedicated surfer and ardent traveler, Lynch finds inspiration in the cultures and music he encounters around the globe.
He was raised on a small barrier island on the Atlantic coast of Florida, where his lifelong love affair with the ocean took root. Lynch currently lives in Los Angeles, a city he values for its rich diversity and cinematic history.
For most people, the North Sea is a source of food, a source of fuel - oil and gas, a playground for catching waves, or simply a mass of water that needs to be navigated.
Few are aware that these cold grey waters cover a prehistoric landscape that once joined England to Europe.
Yet between 18,000 and 5,500 BC, global warming raised sea levels to the extent that this area known as Doggerland was engulfed by water, and the area that had been home to mankind disappeared.
This entire land sank beneath the North Sea. Is it this former land that we North Sea surfers now surf? We are the Doggerland groms, heavies, hippies, and kooks.
A film by Chris McClean and Mark Waters.
Surfers include Gabe Davies, Pete Eyre, John John Florence, Nathan Florence, Dylan Graves, Chris "Guts" Griffiths, Ritchie Sills, and Balaram Stack.
Straight out of the Pacific, "Runman's Groms" is an eight-minute short surf movie about "Lil Ray," the grom, other groms, and adults that act like groms.
Includes Titus Kinimaka, Andy and Bruce Irons, Dustin Barca, Koa Smith, Alana Blanchard, Bethany Hamilton, and more.
See Dane Reynolds, Julian Wilson, Jeremy Flores, and Kelly Slater in Quiksilver's "Cypher Vision - A Short Film."
Shot at 1,000 frames a second with a revolutionary camera that had never been used to shoot surfing or film in the ocean, you will trip out on the amazing high-definition footage and super slo-mo sequences of the world's best surfers.
See every drop of spray, their boards flexing when they land big airs, their body contortions, and the unique lines they draw on every wave.
It's high-performance surfing as never seen before.
Protect Our Waves
Surfers Against Sewage, in association with the Quiksilver Foundation and the EOG Association for Conservation, present a Richard Stewart production, "Protect Our Waves."
An inspirational guide to some of the UK's premiere waves, highlighting the environmental threats facing our coastline today.
Beautiful waves surfed by some of the best surfers in the world fused perfectly with stylish animations outlining how surfers can make a stand against the increasing pollution pressures impacting Britain's surf spots.
Featuring Sam Bleakley, Gabe Davies, Toby Donachie, Trev Garland, Jack Johns, Candice O'Donnell, Nathan Phillips and Jayce Robinson, and Richie Sills.
This film was shot entirely in the UK.
Directed by Richard Stewart.
A film about Eef, a surfer in Holland who makes and rides wooden surfboards with painted monsters on them in the freezing and junky surf of his home.
Eef shot everything and FTP'd the footage up to the director's server.
The video editor cut the images, and Garrett Koeppicus, a young animator, gave new life to Eef's drawings.
Directed by Matthew McGregor-Mento.
When the Quiksilver Pro surf competition makes an unprecedented stop in the small town of Long Beach, New York, 20-year-old local surfer Balaram Stack must represent his hometown by competing against Kelly Slater and the world's best surfers in the biggest contest in the history of professional surfing.
Directed by Patrick Cummings and E.J. McLeavey-Fisher.
"Sincerely Suburbia" is the final salute to a film and a moment we're rather fond of.
Shot around the globe in 2012, this film was pulled off the cutting room floor for "Dear Suburbia," Kai Neville's award-winning surf film.
"Sincerely Suburbia" stars Dane Reynolds, Kolohe Andino, Conner Coffin, Jay Davies, and Mitch Coleborn, with cameos by Kelly Slater, Taj Burrow, and Cory Lopez.
The release of "Sincerely Suburbia" marks the beginning of the most exciting part: hitting the road and starting all over again.
Takk - An Icelandic Surf Film
Iceland is not a classic surfing destination, but Chris Hannant made the Nordic country look exotic.
"Takk" is the result of a surf trip to a place where daylight hours are extreme.
The short surf movie portrays some of the best breaks Iceland has to offer.
A glimpse of the New Hampshire winter surfing experience.
Winter is prime time for New Hampshire surfing; nor'easters bring feet of snow and solid swell to our sheltered coast.
Surfers had to wait until March 1 for a solid storm to blanket the coast and deliver waves.
Starring Casey Lockwood, Shawn MacDonald, Stevie O'Hara, and others.
Directed and produced by Dylan Ladds and Ryan Scura.
Friction Free Finless - Surfing the Reef
Finless surfing exponent Derek Hynd, young gun Californian Ryan Burch and female free surfer Taylor Miller take on a West Australian desert Reef on finless boards.
Accompanied by the Australian Chamber Orchestra, singer/songwriter Steve Pigram and didgeridoo virtuoso Mark Atkins composing inspirational music, this is a short document of that journey.
The desert red landscape, cobalt blue skies, and perfect offshore waves make this compelling viewing.
Epic: A Savage Journey
"Epic: A Savage Journey" is a loaded gun with its crosshairs on the ugly side of surfing.
Blustering locals, embittered soul surfers, and homophobic professionals all fall victim to their own delusions.
Follow three different surfers as they babble their way into corners of hypocrisy and self-loathing, peeling away layers of misconception and phony facades like a rotten onion until there's nothing left but a rancid surfer.
Only in this case, you'll be laughing instead of crying, unless, of course, you're the kind of surfer "Epic" portrays, then you'll be crying.
We Are All Radioactive
"We Are All Radioactive" is an episodic documentary film that tells the story of a community of young surfers who are helping to rebuild a small coastal town destroyed by the tsunami in Japan in March 2011.
"We Are All Radioactive" was created by San Francisco-based Japanese journalist Lisa Katayama and TEDTalks creator Jason Wishnow.
Half the footage is shot by them, and the other half is shot by the locals themselves.
Post-production of the first four episodes was entirely crowdfunded, with over 200 supporters from all over the world.
"Kooks" explores the question: when does aggro become too aggro and examines the threat of localism beyond the line-up?
Two shitty surfers bring the localism they learned at the beach back to their neighborhood.
Directed by Peter Cestaro.
Starring Pete Cestaro, Joe Praino, Rachel Feldman, Paul Cotton, Matt Ginella, and John "Kid" O'Keefe.
"Lunchbreak" is a short surfing film that combines high-performance surfing action with a cheeky twist on a North Shore legend.
A group of male surfers is out surfing when the local "gang" comes and calls "lunch break," kicking them out of the water.
The "gang's" session doesn't last long, though; a group of groms is hot on their tales, determined to teach them a lesson.
Starring Serena Brooke, Ellie-Jean Coffey, Laura Enever, Codie Klein, Felicity Palmateer, Tyler Wright, Kirby Wright, Dru Adler, Cahill Bell Warren, Jason Jameson, Noah Lane, Brent Savage, Ty Watson, Kai Hing, and Alyssa Lock.
Produced and Directed by Clare Plueckhahn and Fran Derham.
Carlos Carneiro created a short documentary about an inspiring group that makes a difference in the community.
"Killing Waves" is a 6-minute documentary following the story of Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), an environmental organization seeking to preserve our beaches and campaign against water pollution.
The film follows those involved with the charity, their passion for surfing, and the campaign for a better coastal environment.
Directed and produced by Carlos Carneiro. Image by Bruno Ramos. Editing by Mitchell Tolliday. Sound design by Christian Curtis, and music by Erin Garcia.
"Sea Fever" captures the iconic images of surfing in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Feel the power of the Atlantic Ocean.
The film was directed by Tim Davies and features a poem by John Masefield.
Music by Massive Attack.
The Art of Surfing
"The Art of Surfing" is a surf film by Karl Nesseler and Caspar Schaede.
The short was entirely shot, in February and March 2012, at the North Shore, Cotillo, and Los Lobos, in Fuerteventura.
Music by Asa.
The short surf film "Be" tells the story of a young girl and her dream of becoming a professional surfer.
"Be" celebrates hope, determination, and pursuing one's dreams.
Portuguese surfer Joana Rocha is the star of the short surf film.
Written by Robert Dume. Directed by Creative Artistic.
Cooperative Sailor People
"Cooperative Sailor People" is all about Daytona Beach's weirdness and night surfing.
Directed by Trey Edwards. Art by Ty Williams. Starring Chad Doyle.
"Getaway" is a short surf film by Joey Gallagher, shot with (or in the style of) 8 mm and featuring some surfboarding and skateboarding in New York, California, and Hawaii.
Original music by Calvin LeCompte (of Tough Knuckles) and other songs by Ducktails and Julian Lynch.
"UPcycling" is a short film about transforming an old longboard into a brand new board.
By showing the beauty of this process, it also suggests new views on how enriching using renewed equipment could be.
Besides, it is a film on how people and places get connected through the joy of an upcycled resulting board.
And, of course, it is about transformed habits and routines and new views on old things, all through the activity of craftsmen involved in the amazing process of shaping a surfboard.
Directed by Henrique "Ogro" Perrone.
So It Goes
Billabong surfer Felicity Palmateer is 19 years old and ranked number 19 in the World Qualifying Series.
Her Dad noticed her determination to surf at the age of four. Her passion hasn't faded.
Like any professional sportsperson, she is constantly trying to keep her competitive edge - juggling constant travel for contests, training, and representing a brand - all in the media spotlight. It's not easy.
"So It Goes" explores these pressures through Felicity's thoughts and gives viewers a little insight into the mind of an elite athlete, what they have to deal with, and how they manage to keep on keeping on.
Starring Felicity Palmateer and Warrick Palmateer.
Produced and Directed by Clare PLueckhahn and Fran Derham.
A film by Mike Gibbons and Patrick Rynne aimed at exploring and supporting the emerging surf culture of Cuba.
The non-profit organization Royal 70 works to create opportunities for Cuba's youth through extreme sports, music, and art.
Music by Conner Youngblood. Shot entirely with a portable waterproof action camera.
"Nti Sheeto" is a surf film illustrating the contrast between the psychedelic and magical natural wonders of Indonesia with the surreal and demented trappings of its darker nighttime street culture.
We love Indonesia for all that it is, and this is Dion Agius' film opus to the region.
Starring Ozzie Wright, Dion Agius, Creed McTaggart, Thom Pringle, and Warren Smith.
Have we missed a good short surf flick? Send us an email with your suggestion.