home catalogue history references appendix 
  references : film and video 

The definitive work on this subject is:
Albie Thoms: Surfmovies - a History of Surf Films since 1897.
The Blue Group, PO Box 321, Noosa Heads Queensland 4567 Published 2000.
1897 Surf at Monterey
A 25 second sequence of waves breaking on the coast at Monterey, California, filmed by Frederick Blechynden about September 5, 1897.
Released  by Thomas A. Edison, Inc. (Copyright: 25Oct 1897; 60587), the producer was James White.

Library of Congress
LCCN permalink:

Riding on surfboard, Oakland, California, 1915

HEARST-SELIG NEWS PICTORIAL, NO. 54, 1915 (Selig), July 8.—

The following items make up the number: Models of warships at the Panama-Pacific Exposition; Mystic Shriners parade, Brooklyn; dumping confiscated firearms Into Lake Michigan; Atlantic City Baby Carnival; Lucile fashions; Battery F. New York National Guards, at practice; women carpenters, Chicago; riding on surfboard, Oakland, Cal.; woman ambulance surgeon, New York; Serbian war pictures.

The Moving Picture World
Volume 25 Number 4, July 24, 1915, page 649
Hathi Trust

The Popular Sport of Surfboarding (1925)
Surfboard riders at the north end of Bondi Beach, riding solid timber boards.
From the newsreel The Spectator Magazine.
Australian Screen

1957 Australian Film Archives
Colour footage of USA surf team to Melbourne Olympics surfing their Malibu boards in Australia.
Shot for Ampol (petrol company) it was shown around the Lifesaving Clubs and helped spur the acceptance of the new design.
Now in the Australian Film Archives it regularly appears in TV documentaries, particularly the ABC.
Note the footage also includes Duke Kahanamoku  at Freshwater in 1956 with his board from 1915.
Australian Screen

1957  The Big Surf,

Bud Browne  (USA)
The first commercial release in Australia, shown by Bud at Queenscliff Surf Club, 14 December 1957.
1958 Surf Down Under

Bud Browne’s film of his 1957 visit.
1958 Slippery When Wet

Bruce Brown’s first release. 
1959 Gidget

Directed by Paul Wendkos
First Hollywood surf movie released.
From the novel by Fredrick Kohner, starring Sandra Dee and Cliff Robertson.
Surfing by the Malibu crew including Mickey Dora (as Moondogie) and  Mickey Munoz (as Gidget).
1959 Cat on a Hot Foam Board

Bud Browne 
1959 Surf Crazy

Bruce Brown 
1960 Surf Fever
John Severson
Surf Movie Posters-graphic surfing film art by John Severson
1961 Surf Trek to Hawaii

Bob Evans.- first movie by Bob Evans.
Dave Jackman, Bob Pike, Midget Farrelly.
Note: The only work of  Bob Evans that has been transferred to video appears in small segments in Nat Young’s ‘The History of Australian Surfing’ 1985. See below.
Bob Evans died in 1976.
Film Australia probably have copies of at least some of Evan's films, but since nothing has ever been commericially released I suspect that there must be some legal dispute over who holds the copyright.
Given Evans died 30 years ago, it would seem highly unlikely these films will be commerically available in the near future, if ever.
Bob Evans' Ride a White Horse, 1968, was released on DVD in 2009. See below.

1961 Big Wednesday
John Severson,
This was an original surf film, the title re-used by John Milhouse for his Hollywood production,circa 1978.
1961 Barefoot Adventure

Bruce Brown
1962 Midget Goes Hawaiian ,

Bob Evans
Midget Farrelly’s Makaha win. 
1962 Going My Wave

John Severson 
1962 Surfing Hollow Days .

Bruce Brown 
1962 Surfing the Southern Cross

Bob Evans
Poster image.
1962 Waterlogged

Bruce Brown
Compilation of sequences from previous films.
1963 Gung Ho!

Bud Browne 
1963 The Angry Sea

John Severson

1963 Walk on the Wet Side
Dale Davis

1963  Follow the Surf

Dennis Elton 
1963 North Swell

Grant Rohloff, 
1963 Let There Be Surf

Jim Freeman 
1964 Locked In!

Bud Browne 
1964 The Endless Summer

Bruce Brown
Original print shown on the surf movie curcuit, US and Australia.
“Still others like a short bellyboard (sic) and a long ride like George Greenough at Santa Barbara, California” – Bruce Brown in the introductory sequence of The Endless Summer.

1964 For Surfers Only
Grant Rohloff, 
1965 The Performers

Greg MacGillivray
1965 A Cool Wave of Color

Greg MacGillivray
1965 Life in the Sun

Paul Witzig,
1st feature.
1965 The Last Wave

Grant Rohloff

1965 Inside Out
Dale Davis

   00:00 Footage from Walk on the Wet Side (1963) see above.
   12:00 Start with only a hint of the opening credits for Strictly Hot (1964) ?
1:00:00 Opening credits for Inside Out.
1:53:00 Pat Edwards riding the biggest wave ever filmed.

1966 The Endless Summer- 35mm Columbia Pictures release, with 3 minutes cut.

Bruce Brown
“Still others like a short bellyboard (sic) and a long ride like George Greenough at Santa Barbara, California” – Bruce Brown in the introductory sequence of The Endless Summer.
1967 Free and Easy

Greg MacGillivray, and Greg Freeman, (USA)
Poster images
1967 May  The Hot Generation

Directed/Camera/Script by Paul Witzig.
First release.
Surfers : Bob McTavish, Russell Hughes, Kevin Brennan, Bobby Brown, Rodney Stumper, Nat Young, Peter Drouyn, Midget Farrelly, Robert Connelly, Keith Paull, Ted Spencer, George Greenough, Reno Dick Brewer, Buddy Boy.
Locations :Noosa, Byron Bay, France, Burleigh Heads, Bells Beach (Austrailian Titles or Easter contest 1967?),  Maui/Honolua Bay.
Youtube:The Hot Generation Trailer (1967)

1968 High on a Cool Wave,
Bob Evans.
With Nat Young and Peter Drouyn.
Includes San Diego World Titles and Hawaii.
Australian Screen

Splashdown, Tracks, Ride a White Horse,
1968 Ride a White Horse Bob Evans

Bob Evans
Released on DVD in 2009.
Bob Evans' Ride a White Horse was a distinct disappointment when first released in 1968, coming at the height of radical developments in surfing performance and an associated explosion in surfboard design.
In a compiliation drawn from previous films dating back to 1960, the movie contained no footage that was remotely current and Australian audiences were small and scathingly critical.
The latest film was the performance of Australian surfers at the 1966 World Championships in California, emphatically won before the completion of the final round by Nat Young riding Sam, a thin railed 9ft 4 with a Greenough fin.
Other finalists included Rodney Stumper (while competing here for the U.K., Sumpter began his surfing career on Sydney's Northern Beaches) and Midget Farrelly riding his ground-breaking Stringerless model.
Six months later, in mid-1967, these Australian designs would morph into the Sydney-centric Vee-Bottom Stubby, largely initiated by professional rivalry between Midget Farrelly at Palm Beach and Bob McTavish working for Keyo Surfboards at Brookvale.
Intially about 9ft long, by then end of the year some Vee-Bottoms were down to 7ft, a substantial reduction of 25%.
While length decreased, the surfing performance of the Australian elite exploded, perhaps best expressed in the surfing of Victorian prodigy, Wayne Lynch.
The progress was demonstrated at a contest with visiting American members of the Windansea Club in October 1967 and clearly documented in Eric Blum's Fantastic Plastic Machine, 1969.
Subsequently, Australian surfboard designers lead a continuous reduction in board length and widths became progressively narrower.
1968  The Hot Generation
Directed/Camera/Script by Paul Witzig.
Second release.
1968 The Golden Breed
Dale Davis
Poster image
1968 Children of the Sun
Andy McAlpine
Poster image

1969 Fantastic Plastic Machine,
Eric Blum
1970 The Innermost Limits of Pure Fun

George Greenough, (USA)
Poster image
1970 Evolution

Directed/Camera Paul Witzig Extra footage by George Greenough
Soundtrack by Taman Shud and Tully (and Ravell)
Surfers : Wayne Lynch, Butch Cooney,Ted Spencer, Nat Young, Midget Farrelly, Skip Frye, Ben Apia, Russell Hughes, Keith Paull, David Nuuihwa,  Reno Aberlira, Joey Cabell, Fred Hemmings, Mike Doyle,  Peter Drouyn, David Treloar, Richard Harvey.
Locations :Victoria, Sydney, France, Morrocco/Portugal, Puerto Rico (World Titles 1968 - Rincon), South Australia, Western Australia  (Australian Titles 1969 - Margret River).
1970 Solid Glass Tube
Directed by 'Ray Cassidy' (actually Denis McDonald)
Reported, with thanks,  by Greg Clark, Sept 2003...
"On your list of surf movies you appear to have omitted a couple of Australian surf movies from the late sixties or perhaps 1970, one of which was called Solid Glass Tube and was produced by Ray Young ( I think). It was a shocker (out of focus etc) but  I think he produced a few movies around that time. I also vaguely recall reading a surfing article in recent times about Ray Young and how he used a few different names to produce surf movies around that time. You might like to investigate this further."
Corrected entry from Thoms, page 112
1971 Waves of Change

Greg MacGillivray, and Jim Freeman, (USA)
Previously released as Waves of Change

1971 Sea of Joy
Paul Witzig 
1971 Cosmic Children

Hal Jepsen
1971 Ecstacy

Colin Turner
Footage of the 1971 Australian Titles at Bell's Beach.
1971 Pacific Vibrations

John Severson
Poster image
1971 Family Free

Bob Evans
1971 Tracks

Bob Evans
- Advertised on back cover Tracks (magazine) #6, March 1971.

1971 Seadreams
1972 The Islands

Paul Witzig
1972 The Morning of the Earth

Alby Falzon
Poster image
Australian Screen

1972 Five Summer Stories

Greg MacGillivray, and Jim Freeman, (USA)
First edition
Poster image
1973 Zephyr

Yuri Farant
mainly Hawaii with focus on Gerry Lopez and Rory Russell
1973 Sunshine Sea

Greg MacGillivray, and Jim Freeman, (USA)
Previously released as Waves of Change
1973 Red Hot Blue1973 In Natural Flow

Steve Core, first commericial release.
See Steve's web page:
Utmost Spirit
1973 A Sea for Yourself
1973 Drouyn

Bob Evans
High light:Peter Drouyn’s backhand attack at Tamarin Bay, Mauritius, west coast Africa, Canary Islands, Morocco, southern France, Japan and / or Bali (?).
Other surfers Bruce Channon, Brett Evans.
1973 Rolling Home

Paul Witzig
Australian travelogue with limited surfing sequences (10%) almost exclusively featuring Reno Abelliro at Eyre Penisular, South Australia and Margret River.
Premiere Sydney Opera House 28 November 1973 ?
1973  Crystal Voyager

Alby Falzon.
Portrait of  George Greenough as surfer, fisherman, sailor, designer and builder.
Apart from a crowded Rincon sequence, the only surfers are George Greenough (mat and spoons, red and black) , Nat Young (8 ft Pat Morgan Surfboards Keel, green) and Ritchie West ( 6 ft egg, clear).
Locations: Northern Califorinia and Channel Islands.
Final sequence was Greenough’s Echoes, see below.
Poster image.
1973 Echoes

George Greenough, (USA), insert in Falzon’s Crystal Voyager.
Edited surfer’s view water footage of Rincon and Lennox Head developed from the previous ‘Coming of the Dawn’ / Innermost Limits of Pure Fun, 1969.
Music by Pink Floyd. 
1973 A Winter’s Tale

Phil and Russell Sheppard / Bruce Usher Films.
Queensland, NSW North and South coast, Bells.
Neilson Bros, Bob McTavish, Nat Young, Simon Anderson, Peter Cornish, Terry Fitzgerald, Grant Oliver, Midget Farrelly, Colm Smith (NN)
Gisborne (?), NZ. : Ian Goodacre /   /
Jefferies Bay, South Africa: Piers Pittard
Pipeline: Larry Bertleman, Buffalo K, Ben Apia / Makaha. Gerry Lopez, Rory Russell, Owl Chapman, Sammy Hawke, Booby Jones, Mike Larmont 
1973 Saltwater Wine

Alan Rich
197? Oceans

Rodney Sumpter
1974 On Any Morning

David Sumpter, (also Oceans? Rodney/David).
SURFERS: Nat Young (pintail), Wayne Lynch (Pat Morgan Surfboards Keel), Kim ‘Fly’ Bradley, Lopez (Lightning Bolt Surfboards Pin), Hakman, Drouyn, MP, Fitzgerald (sprayed Brewer Pin), Neilson Brothers (Tri fin). Note 1st leg ropes.
LOCATIONS: Whale Beach,Avalon, Wreck Bay, North Narrabeen, Fairy Bower, NZ, Kuta, Ullawatu, horrible old ski footage, Burleigh Heads.
CONTESTS: 1st Coke 1974 
1974 July Drouyn and Friends,
Bob Evans

1974 Fluid Drive
1974  Hot Lips and Inner Tubes
1975 Tales From the Tube

Bob Cording and Jerry Humpries.
Australian Premier 9th April 1975, Alhamba Theatre, Brisbane. 
1975 Circumfusion

Associated Screen Arts;
Michael Peterson / Snapper , Maurice Cole, Terry Fitzgerald and David Treloar / Queenscliffe, Kris Puckeridge; hang gliding, trailbikes.
Premier: Manly Silver Screen, 26th June 1975. 
1975 Ocean Rythms

Steve Core, second and final commericial release.
See Steve's web page Utmost Spirit
1975 Liquid Space

Dale Davis
SURFERS : David Nuuhiwa, Rory Russell, Owl Chapman, Jim Blears, Tony Wright, Mike Purpus, Angie Reno, Jeff Hakman. Hawaii 
1975 Rolling Home

Paul Witzig
1975 Five Summer Stories : Plus

Greg MacGillivray, and Jim Freeman, (USA)
Updated release.
1975 Liquid Gold

Harry Hodge
1976 Supersession

Hal Jepson
SURFERS : Gerry lopez, Jeff Hakmann, Larry Bertlemann, Barry Kanianapui, Rory Russell. LOCATIONS : Hawaii, Uluwatu 
1976 Drift Away

Richard Bradley,
Premier : Sydney Opera House 14th December 1976

1976 Tubular Swells
Dick Hoole and Jack McCoy,
SURFERS : Tony Etherington, Terry Richardson, Peter McCabe, Richard Harvey, Ian Cairns, Mark Richards, Rabbit Batholomew, Shaun Tomson, Michael Tomson 
LOCATIONS : Bali, Australia, Hawaii,

1976 A Matter of Style
Steve Soderberg, 
SURFERS : Shaun Tomson, Terry Fitzgerald, other Australians. 
LOCATIONS : California, Hawaii

1976 Going Surfing
Bud Browne
includes historical retrospective
1977 Five Summer Stories plus Four
Greg MacGillivray and Jim Freeman
1977 Highway One
Steve Otton, 
Adventures of a group of surfers who travel the coast surfing and showing ‘Morning of the Earth’ Premier: Sydney Opera House January 1977

1977 Free Ride
Bill Delany , water footage by Dan Merkel.
Surfers : Shaun Tomson, Mark Richards and Rabbit Batholomew. 
*The definite film of this period.
1977 Playgrounds in Paradise
Alan Rich 
1978 The New Playgrounds in Paradise
Alan Rich 
Reported, with thanks, by Alan Rich, July 2003....
'' The New Playgrounds in Paradise which was released in 1978"'
1979 Fall Line
Nat Young, Core, Steve??
1981 Wizards of the Water
Alan Rich 
Reported, with thanks, by Alan Rich, July 2003.... 
 '' Wizards of the Water ... was released on 14 December 1981 at the Sydney Opera House Music Room.'

1982 Storm Riders 
Hoole / McCoy
1982 Band on the Run
Harry Hodge
1985 A History of Australian Surfing
Nat Young
1989 Surfers, The Movie
Bill Delaney 
1992 Down The Line (Video) 
Paul Witzig 
1995 Legends, An Australian Surfing Perspective
Roy Norris 
1996 Endless Summer 2
Bruce Brown and Dana Brown1996  Can’t step Twice (on the same piece of water) Video 
Alby Falzon
Noted by Guy Finlay, 6 June 2003 :

Hi geoff,
My name is Guy Finlay and I was looking through your site recently and noticed that there was a gap in your lists of surf films/videos.

It was in 1988 that I linked up with Tim Bonython ( a nightmare in itself!) and filmed, produced and directed Water Slaughter and Strikeforce.
At the time they were the state of the art of surf film and
we were, as Australians, sticking it up the americans again.
I made the
comment on the cover of the video slick that " Austaralians are the best surfers in the world" and they were at that time where the Top 16 were all Aussies.

When I went to the states with the tapes in June, 1988  the distributors nearly didn,t take it up because of that statement!

Recently Albie Thoms wrote his book and contacted Tim for info on these two films but unfortunately for him and anyone that deals with Tim he got the  "Tim is the god of all surfilm makers" stream and did not get the truth of how these two film/videos were made.

I have contacted Albie and given him the facts with regard to the production and I hope that if there is ever a reprint of his book that they can add more information.

If you are still into it I can help with more info about surf films and videos from the inside.
regards, Guy Finlay.

u-toobe The Hot Generation

Relevant Links
Longboarding - page by  Stephen P., includes extensive surfing video catalogue with reviews.
Poster Exhibit - nostalgia plus with this collection of Surf film poster scans.
Classic Surf Company (Dick Hoole)
PO Box 370 Byron Bay NSW 2481 Australia
(02) 6684 7307
Mb (0428) 218 956
Ph: 02 6684 7304
Mob: 0428 218 956

home catalogue history references appendix

Geoff Cater (1999-2013) : References : Film