Describe any film as “quintessential” and it’s going on my watch list for sure. This 1966 documentary film follows surfers Mike Hynson and Robert August as they chase summer around the globe, in search of the perfect wave. Despite it’s popularity, Damany and I had not yet seen the film, and expected it to be classically cheesy. Bruce Brown’s humorous narration, however, while very 1960s, is far from the cheesy we expected; and overall we found the film to reach beyond our expectations on an educational and inspirational level.
Besides the surf-physics lesson and impressive skills like nothing we had seen before (remember, we’re not surfers, you may have seen these tricks), the information about the beaches visited and stories of interaction with locals makes the film worth a watch. Some of the places they traveled were warm and welcoming, and the natives superbly interested in their activities, while others coupled poor conditions with locals who thought the surfers were crazy.
While surfing in Ghana, an entire tribe became interested in the show, and crowded the beach to watch. Below is a clip of the tribe showing off their ability to surf with fishing boats, and then learning to use the boards, after admiring Rob and Mike’s talents.
At the other end of the spectrum, while surfing off the coast of Nigeria with only one spectator, Mike and Robert experience 91° waters, with an air temperature of 100° and humidity that felt like 5000%, saying it felt dryer in the water than out. Can you imagine?
The boys spent an entire year surfing in different places around the globe, always ultimately enjoying the season of summer, searching out the perfect wave. In this clip, they finally find it:
“I want to chase summer around the world,” Damany said when it was over, “Can we do that?”
“Sure, we can do anything we want. It’s always summer somewhere”