Staff photo by Cole Dittmer
The Robert August Surfboards Endless Summer Model 1963 is a replica of the board ridden by August in the 1964 surf movie “Endless Summer” and will be raffled off by the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History as part of the inaugural Waterman’s Ocean Festival in May.
Fifty years ago, surf filmmaker Bruce Brown released the iconic “The Endless Summer” surf movie to audiences around the world and one of those theaters was Wrightsville Beach’s Crest Theater.
To celebrate the film’s golden anniversary, the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History, Wrightsville Beach Longboard Association and Surfalorus surf movie festival have partnered to host the Wrightsville Beach Waterman Ocean Festival.
The festival will take place from April 29 to May 4, and features the annual WBLA Longboard Competition Pro-Am and standup paddleboard ocean race, kids’ surf camps, a Surfers Healing event and a selection of surf films for Surfalorus with “The Endless Summer” serving as the headliner.
Museum director Madeline Flagler said Bruce Brown Films contacted her in 2013 about Wrightsville Beach being one of the sites to host a 50th anniversary screening of the movie.
“It really was a no-brainer,” Flagler said.
In addition to serving as one of the East Coast sites for the anniversary celebration, Flagler said it gave the museum an opportunity to focus on one of the board of directors’ objectives.
“In the spring, the board had a strategic planning meeting and one of the initiatives we felt strongly about was somehow incorporating the surf history into what we have at the museum because it is such an important part of this beach,” she said. “Part of our goal is that this town has become a big surfing and standup paddleboard center so we want to find a way to celebrate that in a local way in partnering with nonprofits.”
The screening will take place at the Holiday Inn Resort on Wrightsville Beach and the WBLA surf contest will occur on the beach strand in front of the resort.
To raise money for the museum and to establish the Wrightsville Beach Waterman’s Hall of Fame, a hand-shaped replica of the surfboard ridden by Robert August in “The Endless Summer” will be raffled off that weekend.
WBLA vice president and museum board member John Sideris said the board is autographed by August, and it is No. 79 of 300 replica boards.
“I had the opportunity to meet Robert August and he said, ‘You have to promise me one thing, whoever wins this board has to go out and surf on it at least one time,’” Sideris said.
Raffle tickets are now available for purchase at the Wrightsville Beach Museum for $5 for a single ticket or $20 for five. The board will be on display at various Wrightsville Beach businesses until the May 4 drawing.