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The Endless Summer movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was The Endless Summer filmed?


City Locations

Santa Cruz, Honolulu (USA), Senegal (Africa)

Location Types

Beach/Oceanview, Hotels

Location Styles

Beachfront, Hotel/Motel Style, Exotic/Tropical, Foreign

About The Endless Summer

Bruce Brown had been making documentary surf videos since the late 1950s, but The Endless Summer was his first feature-length film that was nationally released. With this incredible film, Brown granted fans a newfound appreciation for the sport and its capabilities. Brown also lent his voice to the film’s narration, entreating viewers to imagine how far they could go with enough time and money– literally around the world!

This masterpiece elevated our understanding of summer sports beyond anything we knew before. Ready to explore the world with just their surfboards in tow, Brown and two of his surfing friends - Robert August and Mike Hynson - set off on an epic journey. Besides honing their surfing skills in some of the world's most beautiful locations, they also experienced different cultures up close and personal.

The trip changed them greatly as they grew beyond being mere surfing fanatics into more worldly individuals. They also gained knowledge through countless conversations with those they met on their travels, heard stories from locals who'd lived there all their lives, learned more about history than just what can be found in textbooks, marveled at natural wonders, and discovered new depths within themselves too.

Despite some of the risks involved with traveling far away from home the surfing forged ahead undeterred by any potential obstacles. By doing so, they were able to create a beautiful film that not only inspired young surfers everywhere to pursue their dreams but taught them how to look beyond stereotypes while doing so.

Although watching this documentary may not necessarily provide anyone with enough time or money to travel far and wide like, it still provides an inspiring account of what can be achieved when you throw caution to the wind and chase your dreams no matter how impossible they may seem.

The Endless Summer Locations

From South Africa to Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, and Hawaii in the Southern Hemisphere to California, Senegal, Ghana, and Nigeria in the Northern Hemisphere the surfers journeyed to experience diverse waves and beautiful landscapes. Brown chose these regions as they all provided some of the most stunning backdrops for his film.

In South Africa, Cape St. Francis was chosen given that it provides some of the best surfing conditions in the world. It’s all thanks to its location along the southern tip of Africa giving it access to powerful swells from both the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean. While in Australia, Manu Bay near Raglan was chosen for its intimidating wave known as "The Pass," which has been a popular destination among professional surfers since 1957.

In addition to these locations, Waikiki Beach (Hawaii) provided a beach break that allowed Mike and Robert to experience its signature rolling barrels punctuated by thrilling rides and waves. Further north in California, Salt Creek Beach (Orange County) was featured due to its high-performance level breaks which allow experienced surfers, like Mike and Robert, to showcase their skills while still presenting challenging sections for them to progress further with their craft.

In addition to providing pristine surfing conditions, each region offers something unique. From the phenomenal wildlife around New Zealand's rugged coastline, snorkeling through Tahiti's crystal clear lagoons where marine life abounds, or also simply taking time out on Waikiki Beach for a more relaxed atmosphere with paddling canoes right outside your hotel room. There’s also the option of soaking up some sun while playing beach volleyball against the cover of the beautiful Senegalese sunsets at Labadi Beach!

The opening scene of The Endless Summer

21 Municipal Wharf, Santa Cruz, CA United States

The opening scene of the documentary showcases Santa Cruz beach. The narrator tells us about people`s preferences for summer hobbies. He explains that some like sailing a high-speed catamaran, while others prefer soaking up the sun at an exotic location, but the movie focuses on surfing and why the two main co-stars are into it.

The beaches are the beating heart of the Santa Cruz coastline, offering a plethora of fun activities and attractions for beachgoers. Whether you're taking a leisurely stroll along the shore, engaging in a lively game of beach volleyball, or simply letting the sand run through your toes.

The stunning natural beauty of these beaches is something to behold; miles of white sand overlooking sparkling blue waters, colorful rock formations dotting the landscape, and breathtaking sunsets that will take your breath away. For outdoor adventurers, there’s plenty to explore from kayaking and surfing at Cowell’s Beach and Steamer Lane to kayaking tours off Natural Bridges State Beach.

To get to the beach, take a bus to Pacific Ave & Viaduct Lane (Wharf) and then walk for about 7 minutes. Once there, turn south at the traffic circle onto Municipal Wharf. It will only be a short walk from the wharf until you reach your destination.

Hawaiian beach scenes in The Endless Summer

Waikiki, Honolulu, HI, United States

No place represents summertime to surfers more than the Hawaiian Islands. For surfers, summer in Hawaii means enjoying ideal conditions and brushing shoulders with friendly locals, which makes the experience even better. Brown describes Waikiki Beach as the 3rd best surfing spot.

Waikiki Beach, located on the island of Oahu, is a timeless haven for tourists in search of sand and surf. With Diamond Head hovering majestically in the background, visitors get to enjoy stunning views while taking pleasure in fresh mai tais and the warmth of the Hawaiian sun.

Since the early 1900s, Waikiki Beach has welcomed countless travelers and continues to offer respite from everyday life. Its serene waters invite even beach novices to take a dip or ride one of its famous waves. It tends to attract crowds at times, however, it's this vibrant combination of people that makes it so alluring for all who visit.

Taking the bus from the intersection of South Hotel Street and Richards Street to Waikiki Beach is a great way to enjoy the scenery without having to dole out extra funds for taxis or rideshares. The 15-minute journey on Bus 2 takes passengers through 17 stops, before eventually arriving at the corner of Kuhio Avenue and Lewers Street, where you can then embark on a short 4-minute, 0.2-mile walk that leads straight to Waikiki Beach!

Senegal scenes in The Endless Summer

Hotel Ngor Diarama, Dakar, Senegal, Africa

Mike and Robert's fateful journey to West Africa began with a sprint from the hotel, surfboards slung across their backs, and local kids watching with confusion. Nowadays, when visitors arrive at Ngor beach, they are immediately swept away by the same hustle and bustle. The most noticeable landmark is still the same - the regal hotel, however unassuming it may seem in the bright sunlight that was there to provide succor for those two brave surfers 56 years ago.

Hotel Ngor Diarama is a truly breathtaking place, first constructed in 1953 and renovated in recent times to ensure modern luxury, comfort, and convenience. It stands in an idyllic position overlooking the stunning beach and bay of Ngor, both of which are renowned worldwide as tourist destinations.

When driving, head down Rue SC 93, then turn onto Les Voies de I'Alternance until you reach MZ-210. From here take a right, and follow Rte de la Corniche Ouest, and Rte de l'Aeroport until you make it to your destination!


On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an aggregate score of 100% based on 23 critic reviews. Roger Ebert praised Brown's work, describing it as "the beautiful photography he brought home almost makes you wonder if Hollywood hasn't been trying too hard.” Ebert also commented that the cinematography captured the thrilling and dangerous experience of surfing with a sense of awe and admiration.

Time magazine wrote that while Brown didn't analyze the surf-cult mystique in-depth, he managed to demonstrate how some beatniks are in fact brave souls who have embraced this difficult, dangerous, and dazzling sport. In his review for The New York Times, Robert Alden praised the subject matter as buoyant fun. He observed that surfing is a unique combination of swimming, skiing, sky-diving, and Russian roulette - all combined into one activity.

Not only is it an exciting and adrenaline-filled experience, but also requires an immense level of skill to successfully navigate the waters. This complexity made it particularly appealing for Brown to capture on camera in order to bring people closer to experiencing surfing without having to actually go out there themselves.