Thirty years after making the greatest surfing movie of all time - "Endless Summer", with Mike Hynson and Robert August as two surfers who try to achieve the ultimate dream (an endless Summer of waves, girls, sun, and surf)- Bruce Brown decided to shoot a sequel. He took two more surfers, a shortboarder and a longboarder, and traveled the world again. This time around, the surfing world is much larger than just Hawaii and California, so the guys don't really get to play "surfing ambassador" on this trip like the two other guys did in 1964.
Robert August makes a guest appearance. Since completing his surfing odyssey in 1964, he's now known as one of the greatest surfboard shapers in the business, specializing in longboards. One of the greatest tragedies in the world is the fact that the board he used in "Endless Summer" ended up on a used surfboard rack and was sold, lost forever to a nameless surfer who probably didn't know what he had. However, August has made a living creating duplicates of that board and they continue to sell well. But I'm deviating from the movie.
Again we have Bruce Brown giving narration to the film, although in this movie the cameras recorded sound, so we can hear the surfers reactions to the waves and rides rather than have Brown interpret them for us (though I miss his narration - it was much funnier in his retelling). And we have the familiar tune from The Sandals, but recorded with better guitars. This time the two title surfers go to places not normally associated with water sports, such as Alaska and France. But even here, with the improvement in wetsuit technology in the past 30 years, surfers are riding waves. We also get treated to a brief history of surfing at the beginning of the film, which is a nice tribute to the sport which has done well for Brown.
Interspersed between the surfers' travels are clips from surf competitions, famous moments in surf history, and some fantastic underwater photography. While the trailer to the movie focused on the big action scenes (a la the "X Games" influence of ESPN), the movie itself actually follows a less MTV-heart attack pace, showing us the grace and beauty of moving on a wall of water. The advances in camera technology have really benefitted filmmakers, and it shows in this movie.
So is the sequel as good as the original? Yes, if not better. While I miss the relaxing humor of Bruce Brown's narration that was in the original, the photography of the sequel is much better. I'd suggest watching both.