Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Endless Summer is one of the first and most influential surfing movies, creating and defining the genre for many years after its release in 1966. The title is derived from the closing sentence in the movie, which states that you could, if you had enough time and money, follow the summer around the world, making it endless.
Director Bruce Brown follows two surfers, Mike Hynson and Robert August, on a surf trip around the world, starting in California and travelling to the coasts of Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti and Hawaii, finding and naming numerous new spots and even introducing the locals to the sport.
When the movie was first shown in cinemas, it encouraged many surfers to visit foreign countries, giving birth to the "surf-and-travel" culture, which is all about searching "uncrowded surf", meeting new people, simply finding the perfect wave. It also introduced the new sport of surfing, which had begun to grow popular outside of Hawaii and the Polynesian Islands in places like California and Australia, to a broader audience.
The movie has virtually no story line, it just shows the two protagonists, and some other important surfers of the time, like Mickey Dora, surfing, with short passages where they encounter the local people and wildlife. The style was often copied in later surf movies, until in the 1980s, along with the shortboard revolution, directors created new styles of surfing movies, laying more importance on music, mostly punk and alternative bands, but most often staying with surf-and-travel, paying homage to the "Endless Summer". Excellent examples include "Momentum", "(These are) Better Days" and "Thicker than water".
In 1994, Bruce Brown released the sequel "The Endless Summer 2", showing the rapid evolution and growth the surfing scene had gone through by comparison with his first movie. Where the predecessor only presented the classic longboard surfing, this movie is about the two surfers Pat O'Conell and Robert "Wingnut" Weaver, of which the first rode a shortboard, which was developed in the time between the movies, who follow the original surfers from the "Endless Summer" on their journey. It also has a few scenes of windsurfing and bodyboarding, and shows how far spread surfing had become, capturing surf sessions in France, South Africa, Costa Rica, Bali, Java and even Alaska.
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