Surf Inspiration: Instagram, Books & Movies

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Surf Inspiration: Instagram, Books & Movies

Surf Inspiration

Surfing in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.

Surf Inspiration

Are you looking for some surf inspiration? Do you wish for warm waves, sunny beaches, and sunset surf sessions? Maybe you’ve just booked your PVA surf and yoga retreat and are dreaming of point breaks from the comfort of your living room. Read on for 5 Instagram accounts to follow, 5 movies to watch, and 5 books to read to satisfy that itch for a surf adventure.


Instagram Inspiration: Surf Pages We Love

These are just a few of our favorite Instagram pages that celebrate the ocean, provide us with surf inspiration, and showcase the culture that surrounds the sport.

Award-winning photographer Clark Little creates awe-inspiring images, which have gained worldwide recognition. His gorgeous shots of Hawaiian breaks are often captured from within the wave. Follow him for a bit of beautiful surf photography in your Insta feed.

Since 2004, Pura Vida Adventures has made it our mission to spread our love of surfing, yoga, Costa Rica, and living life to the fullest with the world! Follow us for posts about all these things, surf retreats, our amazing guests, and the best restaurants and activities in Santa Teresa!

Bethany Hamilton is an inspiration, plain and simple. Not only did she have the resilience to return to surfing after a horrific shark attack that cost her an arm, but she became one of the best surfers on the planet. Follow her for motivational posts that will make you smile.

The World Surf League’s Instagram page showcases the world’s best surfers competing on some of the world’s most incredible waves. Follow them for surfing new and competition updates. They also post inspiring surfer spotlights.

Kelly Slater. With over 3 million followers on Instagram, we know this surfer requires no introduction. His page is full of information about boards and fins, beautiful surf shots, causes close to his heart, and much more. Definitely worth a follow.


Must-Watch Inspiring Surf Movies

From Hollywood blockbusters to documentaries to amination, surf movies tell stories, showcase the action of the sport and celebrate surf culture. Many of us don’t surf as often as we’d like (or at all), so we surf vicariously through those on screen. We encourage you to get stoked for surf by watching these films!

The Endless Summer

This iconic surf film follows West Coast surfers Mike Hynson and Robert August on a worldwide search for the perfect wave. This documentary was made in the 60s. Therefore, there is some dated sexism and cultural insensitivity. However, the footage wonderfully captures adventure, camaraderie and the love of surfing. One of the first mainstream documentaries showcasing surfing, this movie continues to inspire people to travel in search of the dream wave. 

Chasing Mavericks

This inspirational surf movie is based on the story of surf legend Jay Moriarty and his dream to surf the massive and world-famous wave, Mavericks. This movie depicts the inspiring, emotional journey of what it takes to prepare for surfing this giant of a wave. Despite mixed reviews, we believe this dramatic film is well worth watching.

Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable

Bethany Hamilton is one of the most recognizable names in surfing. At the age of 13, Bethany survived a shark attract in which her arm was bitten off. With determination, she returned to surfing as quickly as she could. Unstoppable is an inspiring surf movie about rising up in the face of adversity. If you love this movie, you may also want to check out Soul Surfer. Soul Surfer is based on Bethany’s story of being attacked by a shark and continuing to surf in the wake of that tragedy. 

Surf’s Up

This animated mockumentary is about a penguin determined to be a big wave surfer. This family-friendly film will make you laugh, cry, and appreciate some great surf scenes. Kelly Slater and Rob Machado have cameos, as penguins, of course! 

Point Break

This cult classic is about bank robbers who steal to fund their surf adventures. There is adrenaline, big life lessons, and some stellar night surf scenes. Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze put on great performances, and we highly recommend this one!


Books to Get You Inspired to Surf

This short, subjective list of surf books is just a start. We love them for their beautiful images, stories, and inspiration. We hope that at least one of these will give you an even greater appreciation for surfing.

Surf Is Where You Find It by Gerry Lopez

In Gerry Lopez’s Surf Is Where You Find It, he eloquently shares stories about life lessons he’s learned from surfing, surf influencers and spending time in the ocean. As a bonus, there are some remarkable surf images in this book! Read this for a solid dose of surf inspiration.

Saltwater Buddha by Jamail Yogis

Saltwater Buddha is a love letter to surfing, a coming-of-age tale, and a spiritual journey with humor thrown in. This lovely memoir of leaving home and traveling to surf spots is an easy read, with life lessons and adventures throughout the book.

Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan

Pulitzer Prize willing Barbarian Days is a surf story. It is a history of adventure in various locations at different stages of a man’s life. It provides an insightful narrative of one man’s passion for surfing as a way of life. This book will instantly suck you in with its eloquent and insightful prose.

Surf Like A Girl by Carolina Amell

From American surfers to French board shapers, this book features women of the waves like no other. A beautiful, hardback book full of gorgeous photography, this volume celebrates women who rip. Become inspired by these talented women, and marvel at some truly inspirational surf stories.

Epic Surf Breaks of the World 1 by Lonely Planet

Epic Surf Breaks of the World showcases some of the most amazing waves on the planet. From Africa to Australia, discover waves worthy of traveling the world to surf. Let this book stoke your wanderlust and provide surf inspiration.  Admire the remarkable photographs, savor the stories, and pour over the maps. With 200 destinations listed, you’re sure to find your perfect break. 


We hope this list provided you with some surf inspiration! We love the little dose of surf culture we get when we scroll our Instagram feed, watch these movies or flip through the books. Let us know if you have any favorites that we missed!

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