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Relive The Original Search for the Perfect Wave with "Birth of The Endless Summer"

The Endless Summer from Bruce Brown Films is the most iconic surf movie of all time.

There’s no doubt.

There’s no debate.

Watching Mike Hynson and Robert August follow summer as it transitioned through the hemispheres on a surf trip to find the perfect wave forever stands at the pinnacle of surf filmmaking.

One of the most popularized scenes is when Hynson and August discover the right-hand point break at Cape St. Francis — with no one in sight. Bruce Brown famously narrated:

"You can’t tell how good a wave is until you actually ride it. On Mike's first ride, the first 5 seconds, he knew he finally found that wave. The waves looked like they were made from some kind of machine. The rides were so long I couldn’t get most of them on one piece of film.”

They had done it; they had finally found the perfect wave they and every surfer were looking for.

When this scene and film were released in 1966, the surf community widely regarded Brown as the pioneers of this wave — and the original surf trip.

In truth, they actually didn’t discover this wave as it was portrayed.

In addition, there’s much more to The Endless Summer origin story — anecdotes of adventure that even the biggest film fans don’t even know.

Until now.

A discovery that the surf world would never forget: Dick Metz and Cape St. Francis. Photo: Surfing Heritage & Culture Center/Metz

That’s the premise of the Birth of the Endless Summer film, which debuted in theaters on June 14. It will also show at:

  • Wednesday, 6/28 at 6pm at La Paloma Theater, Encinitas, CA

  • Thursday, 6/29 at 6pm at La Paloma Theater, Encinitas, CA

  • Friday, 7/1 at 6pm, at the Lyric Theater in Ft. Collins, Co.

  • Saturday, 7/2 at 12:15 at the Lyric Theater in Ft. Collins, Co.

  • Thursday, 7/6 at 7pm at the Lyric Theater in Ft. Collins, Co.

  • Wednesday, 7/26 at Laemmle Monica Film Center with Richard Yelland in person

  • Thursday, 7/27 at Laemmle NoHo with Richard Yelland in person

  • Saturday, 7/27 at Doris Duke Theatre

The focal point of the Birth of the Endless Summer is the person who actually discovered this wave — and inspired The Endless Summer adventure — Dick Metz.

The Birth of the Endless Summer details Metz and his vagabond adventure in the late 1950s through Tahiti, Fiji, Australia, Europe, and Africa.

It's in South Africa, on a Cape Town beach, that Metz met John Whitmore, one of the first surfers in the country and would later become a legend known as the Oom, or Uncle, of the South African national sport of surfing.

Whitmore tipped Metz off to “the perfect wave” at Cape St. Francis, more than 3 years before Bruce Brown and company arrived.

Later, Metz told this to Brown — and the rest is history.

A friendship that led to the greatest surf film in history: Dick Metz and John Whitmore, as seen here in Cape Town. Photo: Surfing Heritage & Culture Center/Metz

The impetus behind Birth of the Endless Summer was Bruce Brown’s passing in 2017.

“It was the first time I’d seen surfers, from every era and corner of the globe, agree on something,” Richard Yelland, the Director of Birth of the Endless Summer, said. “I thought that telling the story behind Brown’s film The Endless Summer would be a great tribute to him. Revealing Dick Metz’s discovery of Cape St. Francis and the inspiration he gave Brown to go there — only to film the most iconic surf scene in our lifetime — was a piece of history that needed to be told. In a way, it felt like my duty to get this story documented before it was lost.”

Both The Endless Summer and the Birth of the Endless Summer are such good documentaries that it leaves you wanting to know even more about Metz, Brown, and the big bang of surfing that they helped create.

Now, there is more: Birth of The Endless Summer: A Surf Odyssey, a new Scribd Originals book and audiobook (narrated by Rob Machado), provides additional anecdotes about the original surf adventure — and much more.

Authored by writer and former pro-surfer Jamie Brisick, this companion piece walks readers through the lasting influences that Metz, Brown, and many others had on the surf culture — the search for the perfect wave that has defined surf culture for more than half a century.

Wanting to book a ticket and search for the perfect wave? Yeah, Dick Metz did too. Photo: Surfing Heritage & Culture Center/Metz

In the surf book, Brisick brilliantly discusses:

  • The Naughton-Peterson Adventures, two California teenagers who, in 1972, strapped surfboards to the roof of their Volkswagen bug in search of their own perfect wave, and wrote letters from Mexico, El Salvador, Liberia, Morocco, and more.

  • The backstory behind Rip Curl’s “The Search”, which reignited the perfect wave ideology

  • The perfect waves seen during the infamous Code Red Swells in Teahupoo

  • And much more

The title’s release on Scribd comes less than a week after the theatrical release for those who want a bonus feature-style glimpse into the world, beaches, habitats, and people that define the surfing generation.

The film, the book, and the audiobook individually and collectively will inspire you to get out there in search of the perfect wave.

Learn more about Birth of the Endless Summer: A Surf Odyssey right here.


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