In the 1960s, surfing was becoming a major new sport, with at least two specialized full-color magazines catering to aficionados and wannabes; it also gave rise to a number of widely popular surfing documentaries. These served to offset the effects of silly and inane surfing musicals of the time featuring such big-money-approved luminaries as Elvis Presley and Frankie Avalon. In fact, at one time the sport had a slightly counter-culture and rebel cachet -- a just slightly more wholesome image than the one accorded to motorcycle gangs. Documentaries like Surfari, while less well produced than The Endless Summer and made to exploit the popularity of that earlier movie, still served to whet the appetite of those already interested in the sport.
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