Stab Magazine | The 10 most quotable surf movies of all time

The 10 most quotable surf movies of all time

Words by Jake Howard In celebration of the release of the new Point Break trailer and the inevitable (and much anticipated) addition of more cheeky lines to our already cheesy, overly clichéd lexicon, we offer you a run through of some of wave riding’s most quotable films. North Shore: Turtle’s AdviceThe gold standard for which […]

style // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Words by Jake Howard

In celebration of the release of the new Point Break trailer and the inevitable (and much anticipated) addition of more cheeky lines to our already cheesy, overly clichéd lexicon, we offer you a run through of some of wave riding’s most quotable films.

North Shore: Turtle’s Advice
The gold standard for which all other surf movie lines shall be judged: “When the wave breaks here, don’t be there.” Ever since Turtle broke it down to Rick Kane the sentiment has been repeated after every flogging from Pipe to Periscopes, Sunset to Swamis.

Kelly Slater Black and White:
“It’s the morning of the final.” And like that, Kelly Slater became a god.

Fair Bits: Ben Stiller’s Angry
Ben Stiller and toadie Donavon Frankenreiter skewing surf stars is Oscar worthy. “The Malloy brothers? More like the fuckin’ Marx brothers.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Point Break (original)
“Point Break” is so full of zingers it’s hard to distill it down to one gem, but “I’m so hungry I could eat the ass end of a dead rhino,” does a pretty good job. Gary Busey, Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, the remake sure better be something special.

Drive Thru Caribbean
Surfing’s version of the reality show, the Drive Thru series proved that surf stars just wanna have fun. Traversing Australia, Europe, Central and South America, like Jamaican jerk chicken, Drive Thru Caribbean is especially spicy. Watch sweet, skipping Pat O’Connell get a little salty at an airline worker while Yadin looks into the camera and mumbles. “I’m gonna just bend over and start lubing my bum up.” You just don’t get that kind of candor from the Brazilian Storm.

Endless Summer
Bruce Brown wrote the book on dry, ironic surf narration. The commentary that accompanies 1964’s Endless Summer is both witty and a sign of the times. Surfing in Senegal for the first time, of the locals he notes, “Being good Africans, they threw a few rocks.” A little later on in Tahiti he picks on a poor fat kid named Irving…“he has the shiniest skin on the block.” Classy Bruce, real classy.

Mad Wax
“Is it 20 or 40 mils? I can’t remember,” says Ross Clarke Jones with no hint of irony whatsoever. Mad Wax, a quirky, sci-fi thriller starring RCJ, Tom Carroll, Gary Elkerton, Richard Cram, Marvin Foster and others, is the timeless tale of a young, blue-collar gremlin (RCJ) that stumbles onto a book on how to make your own surfboard wax. Because he’s no scientist, he invents a way to magically transport people to any surf spot in the world. Madness ensues.

In God’s Hands
Shane Dorian, Matty Liu and Matt George running shirtless around sweaty Indo, what could be weird about that? Given Matt’s flair for the dramatic, it’s almost not fair putting this movie—which has seemingly been buried by the sands of time—on this list. “There’s a wave out there, it’s going to be massive, and all I can think about doing is riding it,” remark’s Shane’s character. If only Shane’s character had a chance to meet the real Shane.

Psychedelic Desert Groove: Billabong Challenge w/ Occy at Gnarloo
Picture if you will, Occy lost in the desert. Gordo the Great rocks up in a dune buggy, screams, “Where ya headed, mate?” Politely, Occy replies, “The Challenge.” And Gordo, bless the man’s sweet heart, hollers, “I love a challenge, get in!!!” And like that they’re off to Gnarloo, off to spawn the concept of the Dream Tour. If you’ve missed this one, you really should give it a watch.

Searching For Tom Curren
Because ol’ Tommy doesn’t say much, the lines he shares in Searching For Tom Curren resonate. They’re like Zen Buddhist instructions. Like fortune cookies. “It’s not that hard, it’s like riding a bike or something.” Of course it is Tom, of course it is…tell me more.


Missed your favs? School us below!


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent


You’re Gonna Click On An Oscar Lungburne Video

Style that can't be denied.

Sep 29, 2022

Long Read: An Angel At My Table

From Stab Issue 15, October 2006: Chris Davidson has one more shot at the big…

Sep 28, 2022


Watch: Kalani David’s Last Dance

A final surf part from the Hawaiian surf/skate prodigy.

Sep 28, 2022

Taylor Steele Won’t Let Surf Filmmaking Die Without a Fight

Movies shown, filmmaking advice, punk rock at the 2022 Solento Surf Festival.

Sep 28, 2022

Wait, Are We Going To See Moana Jones In The Olympics At Teahupo’o?

Team USA (women) and Japan (men) should be able to choose anyone they want to…

Sep 27, 2022

Donald Brink and Matt Biolos Win Mick Fanning’s Electric Acid Surfboard Test

And we had a party in Oceanside to celebrate.

Sep 26, 2022

Kanoa Igarashi and Kirra Pinkerton Answer Call Of Duty, Win Medals Of Honor In 2022 ISA World Games

Teams Japan, USA, and France move into Victor’s Village.

Sep 26, 2022

The Best Euro Surf Trips That Mightn’t Be On Your Radar

Want to know which less-trodden nation offers the most potential?

Sep 26, 2022

Former CT Surfer Chris Davidson Passes Away At Age 45

A radical life tragically ends outside a bar in New South Wales.

Sep 25, 2022

Where You Should Be In Europe Right Now

An overview of the region's greatest hits.

Sep 25, 2022

The Team Ukraine Interview

“There are mines near the shore, and already a lot of people have died…so it’s…

Sep 24, 2022

Mormaii Founder Raided By Brazilian Feds On Suspicion Of Plotting Against Democracy

Curiously, he's the second surf brand founder to become entangled in a political scandal of…

Sep 24, 2022

The Electric Acid Surfboard Test With Mick Fanning, Episode 4

There are three boards left. Which one is Mick taking home?

Sep 23, 2022

Watch: Tresha

The Bella Kenworthy Edit.

Sep 22, 2022

Photos: Welcome To Vans Stab High Indonesia, Presented By Monster Energy

Welcome to Lakey Peak. Now do airs.

Sep 22, 2022


Taro Watanabe Is The Love Child Of Your Favorite 80’s Surfers

Watch his new edit 'Sonic Youth' now.

Sep 22, 2022

The Four-Finned, Carbon-Wrapped, Vacuum-Bagged Board That Won The 2022 World Title 

The minds behind Sharp Eye and Dark Arts break down Filipe's winning plank.

Sep 22, 2022

Selema Masekela Discusses The New Film “Sweet Adventure,” A New Love For El Salvador and His Not-So-New Music Career 

"It's literally the entirety of my life coming full circle in a way that I…

Sep 22, 2022