I was 12 years old and I remember leaving baseball practice of all things to go see the world premiere of Endless Summer II at the old Peirside Cinema in Huntington Beach. That night was the beginning of the end of my cleat-wearing years. Just me and my dad went and the electricity inside that theater in HB was insane. Seeing surfing that large, and feeling the camaraderie of all the people there yelling at the waves and characters is something you cannot emulate. And it was Bruce Brown who gave me that feeling.
Little did I know at that time is that I’d grown up watching Bruce Brown films my entire life. For years, I rented On Any Sunday, his motorcycle film, every single weekend for probably 5 years. He’s responsible for an incredible amount of films that document the culture of surfing with zest and authenticity. A rare thing in this world.
And while we lost the legendary filmmaker and storyteller last night, he’s left us a loaded cannon of memories and incredible stories and memories. It’s never a bad idea to flip the original: Endless Summer for some nostalgia and one of the best films — not just surf films — but actual films of all time. The feelings are all the same. What a film. What a career. What a guy. Thank you, Bruce Brown. You’re why a lot of us are here surfing. And that’s the greatest gift you can give someone. —Travis
This would be a cool opportunity to head over to the Encyclopedia of Surfing for a brush up on just how big Bruce Brown’s impact on surfing was. Check it out here, and be sure to subscribe to EOS while you’re there.