Step Into Liquid

Gratifying 2003 surf film written and directed by Dana Brown, son of The Endless Summer’s Bruce Brown; the Surfer’s Journal called Dana's film “undeniably an Endless Summer derivative but also marvelous in its own right and for its own reasons.” Step Into Liquid took three years to make, had a budget of about $2.5 million, and grossed $20 million, making it (as of 2013) the #5 highest-grossing sports documentary of all time.

Not exactly a retread of The Endless Summer (though Brown initially planned to call the film The Endless Summer III), Liquid nevertheless embarked upon The Endless Summer’s well-beaten—though well-loved—path. It was a beautifully filmed, easygoing celebration of worldwide surf culture, a “two-hour vacation,” according to the New York Times, with the avuncular Brown providing a droll play-by-play narrative. Step Into Liquid contained plenty of the expected footage of pro surfers (Taj Burrow, Layne Beachley, and Laird Hamilton included) tearing through perfect, tropical waves, but also included joyous segments of recreational surfers riding feeble muddy-brown Great Lakes surf, and hardcore Texans chasing down the bow waves of oil tankers in the Gulf of Mexico.

Step Into Liquid won festival awards in Hawaii, Canada, and the U.S.