Letter: The Best Surf Movie Ever Made

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My wife and I were at the 2018 Pipeline Masters contest two weeks ago on our vacation to Oahu and Kona. Perfect prelude to watching the best surfing movie ever the next day, featuring some of the best North Shore and Pipeline line stories ever told.

The movie classic “Endless Summer” and its intergenerational legacy are not threatened or supplanted by “Momentum Generation.” “Endless Summer” will always be the seminal narrative and definitive global travelogue of the surfing subculture.

But HBO’s stunning and astonishing “Momentum Generation” is the more literate narrative revealing the complex humanity of the surfer legends. “Endless Summer” dressed up its two surf idols in white shirts and black neckties looking like Mormon missionaries off for Africa—Boy Scout surf tourists.

“Momentum Generation” deconstructs mythology and affirms the true identity of the sport’s latter-day surf legends with psychological realism and moral truth. The same fun and humorous social idiosyncrasy of the early surf movies before and after “Endless Summer” are still present in the gang of the real-life misfits, outcasts and Huck Finn characters who became a legendary tribe on Oahu’s north shore.

That tribe produced some of the greatest surfers of all time. It is distilled and captured in this movie. Incontrovertibly the most exciting surf move ever produced.

Howard Hills, Laguna Beach

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  1. Howard, I agree. Also because it was a love story between a band of brothers who became divided over competition and money, and then realized that friendship, loyalty, and soul surfing was more important. Also interesting how most of them came from broken families and found surfing to be their solace, and a single home on the North Shore their real home!


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