One of the most influential surfing movies ever made was The Endless Summer. It was released in 1966.
Director, Bruce Brown, produced the movie and it followed two surfers, Mike Hynson and Robert August on a search to follow summer around the globe. The trip also included a search to find waves that have never been surfed before. In the 1960s when the movie was released, there was no way for California surfers to surf through the winter because the water was too cold and there was little to no wetsuit technology at the time. In an attempt to surf year round, the surfers decided to follow summer around the world, instead of planning a trip to a specific area. On the way, they accomplished their goal; they followed summer around the globe. On the way, they discovered a plethora of waves that had never been surfed before and helped to spread the culture of surfing to places that had never seen it before. Today, some of the waves they found are still regarded as the best waves in the world. This mentality helped to create the idea of searching for new waves, instead of being content with the same waves every single day.
After this movie, the search was on. Surfers traveled all over the world looking for new waves. In the years following the movie release, they were very successful. New waves were discovered left and right. Slowly, news of these wave breaks spread throughout the surfing community, so new waves had to be found because the older ones were being over crowded and over surfed. Not only were new waves being found, but also surfing was being spread to areas of the world it had never been. This trend of searching, then surfing, then surfing continued for years. With the rise of the Internet, the rate at which waves were discovered grew exponentially. (The rise of the Internet made it easier to share waves with your friends and fellow surfers). Unfortunately, because of this many surfers believe there is very few undiscovered waves left. This is resulting in surfers becoming content with what they have again. The few breaks that are found are not being share with the world because the surfers who find them believe they will be taken over and over crowded.
This has two negative effects on surfing as a whole. On one hand, surfing is not being spread anymore and as a result, less and less younger people are learning about surfing. This is leading to a drop in the number of surfers in the water. It is also making surfing boring because nothing new is being introduced. People who follow the sport are stuck with the same old things. In an attempt to revive the soul of surfing, company Rip Curl, started a campaign called “Live the Search.” It included an Iphone app that took you to far away destinations around the globe and various surf contests in remote locations.
Regardless of its success, it reintroduced a culture this sport has been lacking for a long time. Surfing is no longer a way to explore and to share the sport with others. It is selfish and arrogant and conceded. Instead of sharing waves with each other, we are hoarding them to ourselves and it is killing the sport. Surfing has to return to its roots to allow it to grow and develop into a major sport that everyone can enjoy.
Here’s a cool angle of surfing you do not get to see often.