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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
The Endless Winter: A Very British Surf Movie [DVD] [2012]
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£9.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 9 December 2012
Thank you, thank you, thank you to Matt Crocker and James Dean (direc­tors) for mak­ing The End­less Win­ter. I've been watch­ing each teaser as they've been released over the last few months and when the full length film was broad­cast in three episodes on C4, I was thrilled to find that the fin­ished prod­uct lives up to the hype. No won­der it won Best British Film at the Lon­don Surf Film Fes­ti­val. This film is always going to be a favourite for me and I'm sure it's also going to have a long­stand­ing cult fol­low­ing as well. This is a fan­tas­tic film and not just because the film­ing of the surf­ing, beaches and coast­lines is so beau­ti­ful. The End­less Win­ter also takes the eccen­tric­i­ties of the British surf scene seri­ously and treats the sub­ject with all the curios­ity this quirky sub­cul­ture deserves.

The basic premise of the doc­u­men­tary is a road trip around Britain led by pre­sen­ters Mitch Cor­bett and Mark Har­ris, who inter­view the local char­ac­ters at a num­ber of famous surf spots. In Newquay, we get to hear about the first ever attempt at big wave surf­ing in the UK, which took place at the Crib­bar in the late 60s. In Wales, Linda Sharp shares her mem­o­ries of com­pet­ing in the early (and very male) British surf scene. In the North­east, we learn about what it was like to surf Arc­tic swell when wet­suit inno­va­tions appar­ently con­sisted of a wool jumper under a div­ing suit. The sec­tion on Tynemouth is one of the most mem­o­rable with Gabe Davies get­ting choked up while remem­ber­ing his men­tor Nigel Veitch, who died at the age of 26.

Inter­spersed through­out this inter­view mate­r­ial are semi-humorous his­tory spots. One of these nar­rates Cook's first sight­ing of stand-up surf­ing in Tahiti to a back­ground of ani­ma­tion sim­i­lar to a Vic­to­rian stage set­ting com­plete with overly patri­otic music. And of course, this would not be a British doc­u­men­tary with­out a BBC accented voice over pro­vid­ing the author­i­tive nar­ra­tive coher­ence for the whole. The three modes of film­ing work really well together. The humor­ous bits take the edge off the nation­al­ist flavour of iden­ti­fy­ing a prop­erly British surf cul­ture and the tra­di­tional doc­u­men­tary qual­i­ties pro­vide the objec­tive approach needed to encour­age the pub­lic to take the his­tory of surf­ing seriously.

Mitch and Mark are fan­tas­tic pre­sen­ters as well. If I could iden­tify any fault in this film, it would be that more use could have been made of them. In the sec­tion about surf­ing the Sev­ern bore, there is a won­der­fully humor­ous acci­dent where Mark scram­bles up the river bank into a gar­den to unex­pect­edly come face to face with the home owner. His reac­tion is clas­si­cally under­stated and British, `I'm sorry, is this your gar­den?' If these guys can make surf­ing a tidal bore in smelly brown water look like fun, they must get up to other things dur­ing this jour­ney that are worth includ­ing in a film. Toward the end, much is made of surf explo­ration in the sec­tion called `the next chap­ter' and surf explo­ration is also a promi­nent fea­ture in Mitch and Mark's pro­files on the web­site. Will we have more End­less Win­ter with a focus on surf explo­ration in future? Can I sug­gest that we do?

For me, this film is always going to be a favourite because it makes such a virtue of the eccen­tric­ity of the British surf scene. When I first came to Britain, I was really hard pressed to find a way of enjoy­ing the beach. Hav­ing grown up in New Jer­sey, reg­u­lar vis­its to the beach aren't a priv­i­lege to me, they are a neces­sity. Imag­ine my sur­prise when most peo­ple I met on this island just didn't seem inter­ested in going to the beach at all. Then I went surf­ing in Newquay on a whim and caught the bug. What a relief to find oth­ers who are just as beach-obsessed as me. And all of the surfers I have met have been equally nice and enthu­si­as­tic to the peo­ple Mitch and Mark inter­view. Watch­ing The End­less Sum­mer makes me feel proud of the fact that I've had the oppor­tu­nity to inter­act with this friendly, quirky and wel­com­ing cold water surf scene. I also won­der if my weird­ness makes me fit in well. After all, what could be more strange than a thirty-something Amer­i­can woman from a warm coastal state try­ing to learn how to surf in Scar­bor­ough, one of Britain's cold­est breaks?
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on 24 August 2014
It's rare for me to feel the urge to tell the world how good something is, and to jump on a review window, because few things in ife are that outstanding, but this film is gem. Stand out moments of exception for me are: getting to Thurso East, Scotland, one of the best waves in Europe and seeing guys surf the triple overheads, seeing people will risk hyperthemia (north east coast) to feel the swell, and surfing the longest wave at night in the dark. Cheery on the cake: the iconoclastic voice of our home grown Ben Howard.One regret: the quest omitted Ireland. That warrants part 2.
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on 20 November 2012
This is one of those little gems that pops up on Channel 4 - you catch part of it by chance and immediately want to know when the next instalment is! Like some of the other reviewers, I'm not a surfer (although I did give it a go in my teens) but just found it interesting to hear from some of the UKs 'original' surfers, see some of the incredible (and freezing!) surf spots around the UK and learn how the scene began and developed 50 years ago. The old footage is fab and contrasts brilliantly with the surfers following skilfully (always great to witness) in their footsteps, with some real characters and great stories featured along the way.

It's beautifully produced too - some gorgeous shots that make you instantly want to hire a camper van, hit the road and head to the surf (even if you won't know what to do when you get there...) plus some cool graphics, like the map they use to show you where they are etc. And they travel round in a white Ford S-Max (sponsors of the show) which has lent a bit of credibility to my S-Max!!

All in all a very watchable, interesting film with broad appeal - as I didn't manage to catch the whole thing on Channel 4 (and it's no longer on 4oD), I'm glad they've released it on DVD :) I expect it will find it's way into a few stockings this Christmas...
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on 7 October 2014
I love this dvd!! Me and my boyfriend have watched this hundreds of times, it is awesome!! I will be attempting to ride the severn bore after watching this, it would be rude not too!!! Great to see some of the spots I surf and also great to see some new places which I intend to surf in the future!! This dvd is a must for anyone who enjoys surfing!!
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on 1 April 2017
Purchased as a present for the man who has everything.....and is just dabbling in surfing. I think it took him back a few years, the hair cuts and all. Much enjoyed.
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on 20 July 2017
It's OK. Very much a documentary not a movie, and somewhat repetitive I found. Anyone who's surfing obsessed would no doubt love it, but for those, like us, who just have a moderate interest, it may not by your cup of tea.
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on 12 September 2016
Enjoyed watching the film. Present for my husband.
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on 17 September 2014
Watch it whenever I'm bored, homesick and don't know what to do with myself. The narrator is a bit dull but the two Cornish lads are ace and give an interesting account of UK surfing's roots.
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on 9 January 2014
Good to see a British surf film, I felt it nicely showed the often rainy and off-putting surf culture we have as well as the nice summer days and also the variety of what is ridden and who really surfs.
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on 8 March 2016
Fantastic to see what tiny treasures these guys found on our tiny little island.
Definitely worth adding to anyone's surf film collection, Well worth the £10
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