The Endless Summer Film Details
Overview: The crown jewel to ten years of Bruce Brown surfing documentaries. Brown follows two young surfers around the world in search of the perfect wave, and ends up finding quite a few in addition to some colorful local characters.
Tagline: The Search for the Perfect Wave!
Review: You do not have to know what “Hang Ten” means to enjoy this wonderful surfing documentary. In 1963-1964 two surfing buddies, Michael Hynson and Robert August, simply decided to follow the summer sun around the world, from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern back to the Northern. The travails of the two are documented by Bruce Brown, whose apropos tongue-in-cheek narration is a howl. The photography is breathtaking. In the early scenes we see some noted personalities on the Californian and Hawaiian surfs. Hawaii’s air and water temperature were a perfect 75º F. But California was cooling down by November, as attested by Santa Cruz’ nighttime temperature of just 48º F (California does get a winter). So it was off on a flight across the Atlantic to Senegal and Ghana in West Africa, where the two leads demonstrate that they may just have been the first surfers there in world history. Before long the locals were converted to enjoying the waves. Incidentally, the beach temperature was 70º F and the surf better than that of California. A gas station was appropriately named AGIP (a gip), as the price for a gallon of gas was $1.00, or twice as much as in the USA at the time. Next stop: Nigeria just north of the equator. Water temperature: 91º F and air temperature of 100º F! It was so hot that the wax on the surf boards melted. Then Bob and Mike fly across the equator to the southern hemisphere, to South Africa. There were surfers in Cape Town, but just one hundred or so, and the average age of the surfers was older than that of the Americans, about 30. In Durban, on the Indian Ocean side of the country, there were nets to protect the surfers from sharks. The porpoises do seem to get through, though the sharks do not hang with them. You see, quips Brown, “Sharks and porpoises have yet to integrate in South Africa” (!). Further east, at Cape St. Francis, the surfing exceeded that of Malibu. After that, our surfers fly in a wide arc from northeast South Africa to India to Perth, in Western Australia, where there is no surf. So it was on to Melbourne, two thousand miles away. There the guys find that they missed the best surf by six months. Or is “You just missed it” a common refrain? So it was on to Sydney, farther east still, where the surf was minimal (“You just missed it.” Hmmm). They do meet Pearl, a surfer girl, who wears a bikini. Bruce Brown explains that, as the girls tend to lose their swimsuits when they wipe out, the thoughtful lifeguards have spare suits. In New Zealand Mike and Bob find the surfing to be great on the west coast. And on Christmas Day, the boys are surfing in a huge cove near Auckland. The next stop is in Tahiti, where, contrary to local reports, there is indeed surfing. Finally the guys are in Hawaii, where they know the surf, the best in the world. We find out that the big wave surf break in Waimea Bay was ridden first in 1958. The waves are two and three stories high, and wipe outs are massive. Surfers who do so must quickly dive deeply into the ocean, lest they get struck by their boards and suffer severe injury. At the end, the boys explain that finding good surf is a hit or miss proposition: they were lucky in Africa, not so in Australia, and OK in New Zealand. But the guys reflect on the wonderful events that they have experienced in their exciting young lives. Hang ten (stars, not toes)!
Country: United States
Duration: 95 min
Genre: Documentary, Sport
Also known as: 終りなき夏,Bezkresne lato,Бесконечное лето,The Endless Summer,Endless Summer,Eterno verano,Vågornas riddare,L’été sans fin,A végtelen nyár,Alegria de Verão