The 4 surf films to see before you die, according to SURFING

Each generation of action sports lovers has a collection of iconic films that shaped their love of their sports. My life as a young skier was heavily shaped by Tangerine Dream.

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Here, according to the staff of SURFING, are the must-see surf films that most deeply influenced their lives:

Zander Morton, Editor: Campaign 2 (2005)

“I’d probably say Campaign 2.

“That was at the peak of me getting into high-performance surfing. I was 19 or 20 and I was working at a surf shop at the time in Florida, and it was before Instagram and the internet took off where you could just see everything immediately.

“I remember seeing ads for the movie for months in surf magazines, getting a shipment of 60 copies of it when it was released at the shop and immediately having 30 of my friends come in and buy it.

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“It had guys like Andy Irons and Kelly Slater and Shane Dorian in it, and to me that was the pinnacle of surf films.

“Growing up in Florida, I only really got to see top-level surfing every 12 to 18 months when a Taylor Steele film came out. The idea that you have to wait to see a part is gone now, because surfing is everywhere online.”

Peter Taras, Content Director: Momentum 2 (1993)

“I think the surf film that probably had the biggest impact on me was Momentum 2, Taylor Steele’s movie, because when that came out, it was at an age where I was influenced really easily.

“I was in seventh grade when it came out, and it was the first film where I looked at surfing and took it seriously. It was at the age when you decide if you’re going to become a really serious full-blown surfer, and that really pushed me in that direction.

“It had me paying attention to surfboard technology and also the music of the scene — the punk rock music of Pennywise and Bad Religion in that movie — the whole culture didn’t just push me to become a surfer but it also shaped who I was in my adolescence.

“I think it probably even shaped my personality into my life as an adult to the point where I still am an avid surfer and I still live a beach lifestyle and I work for a surfing publication. It’s crazy the power of video and how it shapes your personality longterm.”

Dayton Silva, Web and Social Media Manager: Trilogy (2007)

“I think it would have to be when I was in high school and Trilogy came out. I was a sophomore I think, and I had obviously seen a bunch of surf movies before then, but that one had a larger-than-life feeling to it.

“It was when Joel Parkinson and Taj Burrow and Andy Irons were all really at the top of their games, and I’d watch the intro section over and over again. And that was what got me to go surf a lot — watching that intro section and surfing really bad waves but being psyched just to do it.

“I actually have the DVD still, and I have a little screen in my car that I can play movies on. So it’s probably not the safest thing, but I’ll throw it on during long drives sometimes and glance down at it and listen to the soundtrack.

“It always kind of brings me back to that high school memory of when it came out. It still has that effect almost 10 years later.

“Having those three guys in their primes, and the way they carried themselves — they had this sort of rock star appearance and aura that you don't see in surfers very often — it would be hard to ever duplicate in another surf film.”

Michael Ciaramella, Associate Editor: The Endless Summer II (1994)

“For me it's a really easy one: It’s Endless Summer II.”

“I’m pretty biased I think because it seems like it was on in the background at my house when I was a kid — my dad always loved the film and I guarantee you I’ve seen it over 100 times. I still try to watch it once a year.

“To me that was what surfing was all about. It was friends getting together and traveling the world and surfing awesome waves.

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“I was born in 1993 and the movie came out in 1994, and it was probably on around me before I even knew what was going on. I can distinctly remember seeing it when I was 3 or 4, and that movie just defined my childhood in terms of surfing.

“Something like that does get instilled in you, and I feel like the biggest thing to this day I want to do is travel and surf good waves. Anytime I get time off or see a swell going somewhere my heart starts pumping.”

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