April showers indeed. Another gloomy, gray, 40-something degree day in New York. Sigh. With no chance of the weather taking a miraculous turn for the better anytime soon, what choice is there but to take a cinematic vacation? The Endless Summer, one of the favorite 60’s films, is no cheesy Beach Party . Part surf documentary, part travelogue, Bruce Brown circumnavigates the globe filming two surfers chasing the perfect wave.
Brown, along with Mike Hynson and Robert August, travel from their native California to West Africa, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti and Hawaii. The boys take the waves in places no one had ever surfed before, meeting local people who had never seen a surfboard. It is charming to watch the two California surfers interact, strap their surfboards to whatever vehicle they could find, and catch any wave that came along.
I love when the Brown lingers on the gorgeous beaches, which vary widely around the world. In Tahiti waves run into black sandy coves, while in New Zealand, huge cliffs hang over the shore. More than just a surf film, the movie inspires travel and wanderlust.
However lost you get in the beautiful landscapes and fascinating cultures, there is still plenty of exciting surfing. I’m living vicariously through the surfers, imagining diving in warm oceans…
…and wiping out. After a winter of doughy hibernation, I would welcome a good ocean thrashing!
As the sun sets after each day of surfing around the world, I hope this summer is as endless as the winter has been.
The Endless Summer. Bruce Brown. 1966.