If you’re anything like me, documentaries can be a bit dangerous.

I just watched a great documentary called This Way of Life about a family in rural New Zealand overcoming obstacles and living a simple, yet satisfying life.

The whole hour and twenty minutes of the film caused me to suddenly want a farm with six kids, fifty horses and a few dogs here and there. I felt that I had to go swim in the river on horseback and walk through wide open fields every day.

Then I  saw the trailer for the documentary Blood Brother which tells the story of a young man who gives everything to work with children infected with HIV in India. Moments into the two minute and nineteen seconds of this trailer, I decide it is vital for me to pack up and head out to a village in the middle of nowhere and never look back.

Non-fiction. Documentaries. Real- life stories. Perhaps I saw these lifestyles and immediately wanted to feel and experience the things I’d seen: the struggle, the bonds, the hope, the pain; Or perhaps these desires and dreams have already been imbedded in my soul for a long time. Maybe this non-fiction reel shows my eyes what my soul has only imagined, displaying it through the stories of others.

Non-fiction says ”It’s possible. It’s real. it’s happening now, and you can be a part of it.”

Documentaries used to be associated with an older generation, only useful for looking into the past. They seemed too ‘school like’ for the younger generation that were on the way to something new. Now, documentaries are popping up everywhere on every subject and have proven to be some of the most inspirational fuel existing in media. We live in the information age. Visionaries have taken that wealth of information, added vision, focus and inspiration and used it to produce powerful works of art.

Maybe we should be call this time the ‘create age’ or the ‘art age’. Are we in our own digital renaissance? While you ponder that,

Here are some of our favorite documentaries and some we’re stoked on seeing soon.  Some old, some new, all good:

‘Nord for Sola’ or ‘North of the Sun’ is a new surf film that just took away ‘Best Documentary’  and ‘Viewers Choice Award’ at the London Surf Film Festival . This film follows two crazy Norwegians who decide to spend the winter in one of the coldest places you could find, and, you guessed it, surf. This one got amazing reviews, and we’re pretty sure our Swedish staff and interns will be stoked to see some fellow Scandinavians getting such recognition in the surf world (and as we live in slippers/flip flops  every day of the year here in Hawaii, I automatically highest respect for anyone that will face the cold like these guys)!



Gum For My Boat: If you’ve known STN for a while, you’ve definitely heard of  Gum For My Boat  The film follows pro surfer Kahana Kalama as he goes to visit an unlikely surf club in Bangaledesh. It is here that he sees how powerful surfing can be in forging relationship and positively influence people’s lives. Sure, it’s about surfing but even deeper it’s about hope and community. One of the most moving stories in the film is the way that the kids in the club learn to care for the needy in their own neighborhood and establish themselves as caretakers of their fellow man.  Check out the trailer below and see the full length documentary here.



Here +Now:  Okay, so it’s not a ‘documentary’ but if anyone can put together an award winning surf film entirely filmed in a single day, it’s Taylor Steele. The man who brought us Sipping Jetsreams and The Drifter and other epic films has done it again with Here + Now. This film is an incredible collaboration of some of the best known film makers and surfers totaling twenty five professionals working on this project. It definitely was no small feat. Here + Now covers not just the waves, but the whole process of the journey we go on to get to the waves, showcasing spots all over the world. We love how it highlights the simple pleasures that come with the surfing lifestyle and the joy that can be found across the globe in every step of the way: to, in, and away from the session.









Let us know your favorite picks! Have an inspiring weekend!


Photo credit Rava Films


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