Video Killed the Surf Movie

Battered and under fire, the surf film staggered into the 1980s—only to get cut down, along with big-screen pornography, by the VCR.

For two decades, the surf movie was surfing’s own traveling medicine show, with filmmaker’s barnstorming their latest release up and down the coast for loud, beery audiences, in what constituted the sport’s only type of nocturnal mass gathering. Up to 15 full-length surf movies were produced annually during the genre’s first peak, in the early- and mid-'60s, and a second peak followed ten years la...

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