Stories from the LXF archives
While the film was not a critical success, the cast of characters and imagery they created is iconic – Gerry Lopez, Jan Michael Vincent, Gary Busey, documented by Dan Merkel as only he can.
The film tells the story of three young friends whose passion in life is surfing.
Their surfing lives are traced from the summer of 1962, to their attempts at dodging the Vietnam War draft in 1965, and to the end of their innocence in 1968 when one of their friends is killed in Vietnam. The three make the difficult transition to adulthood with parties, surf trips, marriage, and the war.
The friends reunite years later, after Barlow has served in Vietnam, for the "Great Swell of '74". With this reunion, the transition in their lives becomes the end point of what the 1960s meant to so many as they see that the times have changed, and what was a time of innocence is gone forever.