Before jumbo jets and the Internet and Google Earth, at a moment when the world still felt impossibly big and unknowable, filmmaker Bruce Brown set out with two surfers on a simple quest: to follow the summer around the globe and find the perfect wave.
The resulting movie, "The Endless Summer," hit theaters in 1966. It recorded some great rides in amazing places. But more importantly, it captured the dreamy spirit of adventure that has fueled just about every great quest, and certainly every surf trip that followed the film's release.
In this scene -- the film's "Lawrence of Arabia"-esque climax -- surfers Mike Hynson and Robert August, as well as a couple of others, hike over the dunes in South Africa and lay their eyes on the waves at Cape St. Francis for the first time.
Cut to Hynson screaming down a small, reeling wave, crouching under a blue-green curl.
"You can't tell how good a wave is until you actually ride it," Brown intones over the epic footage. "On Mike's first ride, the first five seconds, he knew he'd finally found that perfect wave."
Those lines and images would sear themselves into the memories of every surfer who would see the film. Brown later admitted to staging the scene at the dunes, shooting it only after the guys had surfed the cape's perfect waves. But no matter. All these years later, it's a scene for the ages.