As The Shallows proves, surfing is a pretty dangerous sport. The survival horror film stars Blake Lively as a surfer who gets stranded offshore and must face off against a bloodthirsty shark as she attempts to return to safety — making it perfectly clear that .
While The Shallows goes for maximum thrills it reminds us of two important facts — sharks are terrifying and surfing is awesome. You guys are already familiar with , so to celebrate the new film’s release we’re taking a look at their favorite prey — surfers! We’ve rounded up some of the greatest surfers from movie history, sure to inspire you to hit the beach and catch some waves of your own.
Anne Marie Chadwick — Blue Crush (2002)
If you’re looking for a solid take on the traditional surfer narrative, you’ll want to check out Blue Crush.
The film follows surfer Anne Marie Chadwick (Kate Bosworth) as she preps for a competition with hopes of going pro. But what sets the movie apart is the drama surrounding the surfing. Anne Marie lives in Hawaii, but it isn’t quite the island paradise you’d expect. She basically lives in poverty, working as a maid at a resort hotel just to get by. Thankfully, her surfing excursions are brought to life with exhilarating camerawork that makes you feel like you’re in the waves.
Mike Hynson & Robert August — The Endless Summer (1966)
Documentary filmmaker Bruce Brown immortalized ’60s surf culture in The Endless Summer, capturing surfers Mike Hynson and Robert August on a global quest to find the perfect wave.
The doc didn’t have much of a plot, but Hynson and August’s adventures around the world inspired a new wave of surfers to hunt for more unique locales to enjoy the sport. But most importantly, the doc is partly responsible for popularizing surfing across the country, extending its reach beyond the California coast and Hawaiian islands. Even if you’re not a surfer, you’ll be able to appreciate August and Hynson’s graceful moves.
Chad Gates — Blue Hawaii (1961)
Who would have guessed that Elvis could surf?
1961’s Blue Hawaii showed us a new side to the music superstar, casting him as a soldier having just returned to his native Hawaii after a stint in the Army. And after serving our country, the dude just wants to chill on the beach, sing some songs and surf. Like most of Elvis’s movies, this one’s just an excuse to see him sing the hits, and those singing skills plus a little surfing are what landed him on our list.
Cody Maverick — Surf’s Up (2007)
Before his , Shia LaBeouf was just an average young actor ready to soar to stardom. And that plan included providing the voice for a talking penguin in an animated surf mockumentary.
The movie paid homage to surf documentaries like The Endless Summer with a goofy penguin-filled cast lead by LaBeouf’s Cody Maverick. The character’s exactly what you’d expect — a down on his luck kid ready for bigger and better things — but the movie’s laid back style helps combat the familiar trope. Cody’s quest to become a surf legend provides a surprisingly fresh and fun change of pace from the animated norm.
Silver Surfer — Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
Surfing on the water is for freakin’ nerds. Real surfers take to the skies, and nobody does it better than .
The character is a bright spot in the otherwise drab Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, bringing a shot of Marvel’s crazy cosmic universe to the big screen. He zips through the air with ease, going head-to-head with the Fantastic Four before helping them save the world yet again. We’re just hoping we can see the Surfer on the big screen in a future Marvel movie.
Johnny Utah — Point Break (1991)
You can’t talk about big screen surfers without bringing up the quintessential ’90s classic Point Break. Of course, that’s due in large part to star Keanu Reeves’s winning performance as undercover FBI agent Johnny Utah.
Utah’s tasked with infiltrating a group of surfers believed to be bank robbers, leading him on an insane adventure packed to the brim with action. From surfing and bank robberies to insane skydiving, you can barely catch a breath. But most interesting is how Utah almost comes to empathize with the gang. They aren’t robbing banks for the money — they’re just rebelling against a system that kills the soul. That’s some deep surfer philosophy, man.
The Shallows is in theaters now. Who are some of your favorite cinematic surfers? Let us know in the comments below.
President of the Salacious Crumb Fan Club. Staff Writer at Movie Pilot. Twitter: @Matt_Kranis