Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
"Surfwise" follows the odyssey of 85-year-old, legendary surfer Dr. Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz, his wife Juliette, and their nine children--all of whom were home-schooled on the beaches of Southern California, Hawaii, Mexico and Israel. They surfed every day of their lives and were forced to adhere to a strict diet and lifestyle by their passionate and demanding, health-conscious father. What happens to eight brothers and a sister that are raised under such extraordinary circumstances? "Surfwise" is the story of a man who pursued his dreams and dragged his family… More
Directed By
© Magnolia Pictures

Available Online

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The fallout decades later provides the drama in this documentary by Doug Pray, who lets his eccentric octogenarian subject off a little too easy."
‑ Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader
"The film's director, Doug Pray, has been able to track down each and every Paskowitz child, and he weaves their memories together with old home movies, still photos and news clippings to create an evocative portrait of their lives."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"New Bohemian lifestyle: good, bad, or neutral?"
‑ Marty Mapes, Movie Habit
"Surfwise will make you hug your parents a little harder the next time you see them."
‑ Christian Toto, What Would Toto Watch?
"Pray's fast-paced editing matches the Paskowitzes' rootless existence, though at times it's difficult to keep track of who's who."
‑ Sean Means, Salt Lake Tribune
"A provocative documentary about a man who dropped out to follow a dream that gradually evolved into something not unlike a nightmare."
‑ Joe Leydon, Houston Chronicle
"A riveting documentary that focuses more on weird family dynamics than big waves."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"This documentary about a famous family of nomadic surfers is fascinating not only because of the certifiable oddball patriarch, but also because of his endlessly creative offspring."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
"Provocative but even-handed subculture lifestyle film."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"The most fascinating parts of the movie explore how the Paskowitz children -- who are now in their 30s and 40s -- continue to adjust to a more 'normal' lifestyle."
‑ Jeff Vice, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"Not just the story of one man's obsessive quest to find harmony on a plank of wood, Surfwise offers a cautionary tale about parenting, homeschooling (camper-schooling, actually), sibling rivalries and family sacrifice."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Some documentarians think like essayists, propagandists, abstract painters, or magazine reporters. Doug Pray approaches his documentaries as though he's writing books."
‑ Noel Murray, AV Club
"Intriguing family story of the sunny and dark sides of extreme home-schooling by surfing, through a trove of photos, home movies, and reminiscences, but little insight."
‑ Nora Lee Mandel,
"Doug Pray, has made a fascinating look at a man who not only was a great revolutionary, but a pure human being."
‑ Austin Kennedy, Sin Magazine
"Surfwise is a graceful, searching film that seems to have missed no opportunity to reveal truths about parents and children and how they come to understand each other."
‑ Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press
More reviews for Surfwise on Rotten Tomatoes