Rated 4.0

Documentarian Doug Pray profiles the Paskowitzes, the so-called “first family of surfing”—led by dad Dorian (“Doc”), who dropped out of the medical profession in the 1950s and shepherded his wife and nine kids (all now in their late 30s and 40s) into the life of a clan of vagabond surfers, bouncing around the country from wave to wave, crammed into a succession of used RVs. Pray captures both the lure of the proto-hippie life and the often unresolved tensions that can arise when a large family never gets out of each other’s faces. It’s an almost epic tale, and Pray not only gives us the milieu and the passing years, but he expertly sketches each Paskowitz as an individual personality—especially Doc himself, a fascinating mixture of New Age guru, Old Testament prophet and garden-variety control freak.