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Top 6 inspiring Female Surf Movies & Documentaries

These times of isolation and social distancing gives us more time now than ever before to listen, read or watch inspiring documentaries and movies. Let's use this free time to get inspired and motivated! We are passionate about surfing and as female surfers we have listed 6 inspiring women-surf-movies and documentaries for you to watch. 

Have you always dreamt about travelling the world, but are afraid to go alone as a solo female traveller? Watching women travelling in exotic countries and remote areas, alone into the unknown will most likely change your mind. While travelling they are surfing waves to grow their passion and self-confidence, gaining new experiences along their journeys. 

Several of the movies we have picked are from empowering women in countries where women are prevented from taking part in sports such as surfing and swimming due to the cultural expectations and social norms. These women meet life-changing moments and challenges which are dedicated to the power of surfing and the mindful art of riding waves.

Now is the best time to finally sit down and watch them all without any excuse, as we are told to stay at home. Let’s bring these movies into light and talk more about female surfing. We hope this will encourage you to join us in the line-up, as not everyone is lucky enough to be given the opportunity. Watch. Dream. Listen to the sound of the waves and get inspired.

Here are our TOP 6 you must watch:

1. UNSTOPPABLE: Bethany Hamilton

This is an inspiring woman’s story. Bethany Hamilton is a pro surfer who started surfing by the age of 11 and has competed since then. Her life changed drastically when she lost one of her arms in the water due to a shark attack, only 13 years old. This documentary shows the raw and tough times she had to go through to chase her dreams and become one of the most respected surfers in the world. 

You can watch this movie on Netflix.

2. A women’s guide to the world - SURFING THE SOUTH ISLAND: NEW ZEALAND

This film charts a solo surf road-trip of New Zealand's South Island. Due to the freezing winter, Apolla is often the only surfer in the water. Being alone was a sacrifice she felt was necessary to take in order to show other women what was possible. Apolla says she wants other women to be inspired by her films, “I started the series with the hope it might encourage women to be the subject of their own adventure stories. Solo travelling is one of the greatest ways I have found to build a deep and lasting relationship with yourself.”

3. BEYOND THE SURFACE: Empowering Women And Girls Through Surfing

Set against the rich hues of India, Beyond The Surface Film follows Ishita Malaviya, India’s first female surfer and fellow wave riders Crystal Thornburg-Homcy, Liz Clark, Lauren Hill, Emi Koch, and Kate Baldwin.

While on their journey through southern India, the female surfers and the people they meet share experiences and stories related to surfing, yoga, and ecological awareness, resulting in mutual feelings of hope, a fuel for change, and the empowerment of women. Highlighted by the undeniable power of surfing, Malaviya and her group of talented women search for the perfect waves as they forge with the people of India an unshakable determination to make the world a better place.

Watch the full movie on Amazon.

4. SURF GIRLS JAMAICA (Extraordinary People Documentary)

Surf Girls Jamaica focuses on Imani Wilmot, an inspirational Jamaican surfer who uses the sport as a means of transforming the tough lives of the women around her, in Kingston and surrounding areas. Imani has harnessed surfing to empower these women through training camps which bring women together to learn riding waves. This develops self-motivation, entrepreneurial spirit, respect for the environment and a deep sense of community. Globally, Imani has taken it as her personal responsibility to empower women of colour to have access to surfing and see a place for themselves within the global surf industry.


The documentary shows how three young women - Irish pro surfer Easkey, Iranian pro snowboarder Mona and Iranian diver Shalh introduced a new sport in Iran: SURFING.

Through the eyes of these main characters, the viewer experiences the journey from a unique and unusual perspective full of heart and emotion.

After introducing the three characters, the film reveals their journey to the remote southeastern region of Iran, Baluchistan, where Mona and Shalha are going to learn to surf with Easkey. All three share a passion and belief in the power of sport, especially surfing, as a way to break down social and cultural barrier and to connect with others.

The film shows how these young women are encouraging others to join them and how surf becomes accepted and practiced by the local Baluchi community. Their enthusiasm for the new sport and the excitement for the opportunities it could offer grows.

Watch the full movie here.

6. WOMEN AND THE WAVES (Graciegirl Surf Productions)

A documentary surf film that explores the lives of female surfers who, through the decades, have chosen to paddle head first into the male dominated sport of surfing and found a place of their own. Surfer girls, women who surf, women who don't, female athletes, and the men who love them gain insight into what its like to Surf like a Girl! This inspiring featuring generations of women surfers, reveals what has transcended surfing's status as a sport to become a passion so strong, it is the dominant force in their lives.

Watch full movie here.

Women and the waves website.

If you would like to check out the sequel, ‘WOMEN AND THE WAVES 2’, click here.

A documentary surf film that celebrates women’s unique approach to surfing and life. The film looks at the state of surfing today from a feminine perspective and features positive role models who give back to people and the planet.

We hope you enjoyed these movies as much as we did! Let’s spread the love of surfing and keep each other inspired!

If you want to read other inspiring women's stories, click here.