Bud Browne Film Archives

Official home and website of the Bud Browne Historical Surfing Library.

Our People

Anna Trent Moore

Anna is the daughter of Big Wave Surfing Pioneer Buzzy Trent. She was born and raised in Makaha, Hawaii where Bud Browne filmed much of Big Makaha Point surf. Although she will always call Hawaii home, she now lives on the Central Coast of California, where she writes about her father’s and Bud’s people.

Image by Ken Koski

Ronald Moore

Business Manager

Ron has been surfing for over forty years. He was born and raised in California, where he has surfed most of his life. For want of knowing the roots of his sport, he has avidly studied surf history for years. He is the business manager of the Bud Browne Film Archives.

Cody Trent Enger

Promotional Organizer

Cody is the grandson of Buzzy Trent and a third generation surfer in his family. Cutting his teeth on his grandfather's surf stories, surfing's roots are deeply embedded within his psyche.

Bud Browne

Bud Browne is recognized and revered in surf history as the father of the surf film and creator of the genre. Born in Newtonville, Massachsettes on July 12, 1912, he graduated from the University of Southern California where he was recognized as an outstanding swimmer and captain of the USC swim team, which was ranked second in the nation at this time. Bud also swam competitively on the L.A. Athletic Club where he first met the legendary Duke Kahanamoku. In 1938 he traveled to Hawaii on the Matsonian ship’s maiden voyage where he met with Duke Kahanomuku once again, filming him in Waikiki surf and became a member of Hawaii’s Waikiki Surf Club. During WWII Bud enlisted in the Navy and was assigned as a Navy specialist in athletics. It was this time in the Navy that Bud traveled throughout the Polynesian islands discovering a love for Tahiti and the Hawaiian islands, both places which he would return to film and photograph throughout his lifetime.

After the war he began teaching Physical Education and English in the Los Angeles Unified School District. It was during this time that he began to film with in 8mm. Later, bought a 16mm Bell and Howell movie camera and began to film surfing in 16mm. With a discovered passion for filming, Bud returned to USC to study film editing, pursuing his Master’s degree. The first film he created in 1953 was called Hawaiian Surfing Movie. Promoted in true grassroots form, he created his own handbills and posters, nailed them to telephone poles for advertising, personally collected the sixty-five cent admission at the door, then ran the projector himself while he narrated it live. Bud went on to create 14 more films, which spanned a period from the birth of big wave surfing in the fifties through the short board evolution in the seventies. Although he retired from producing his own films in 1977, he continued to film extensively for other films with McGillivray-Freeman. He also worked for Warner Brothers on their iconic film, Big Wednesday and provided historical film for Riding Giants. In 1996 Bud made his last film Surfing the Fifties, which was released on VHS format. Composed of his favorite sequences that he had taken from the early fifties through 1960, he called upon old friends Peter Cole and John Kelly to performed the narration. Upon Bud’s death in 2008, he bequeathed his life’s work to Anna Trent Moore who is now the curator and owner of what is now recognized as the Bud Browne Film Archives. The archives continue to license film to many projects today, most recently, Hawaiian: The Eddie Aikau Story.

Bud has received numerous accolades and awards throughout his lifetime. In 1987 Bud’s Locked In was voted by Surfer Magazine as one of the best surf films ever made. He was inducted into the International Surfing Hall of Fame (1991), and the Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame (1996). Bud was featured in Outdoor Life Network TV Series Fifty Years of Surfing on Film in 1997 and in 2001 Bud received the Waterman Achievement Award from the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association.

Bud Browne’s films and images span a period of over fifty years where his contribution as the first surf filmmaker is unrivaled. The surf films he produced during the fifties and sixties define a generation of its time and he is revered in the industry as a Surfing National Treasure. His work continues to shed light not only on a unique time, but also on its key players. The body of work that Bud Browne leaves behind continues to inspire and move others by the daring and adventure of its time, as well as instill in us an appreciation for the craft of surf film making.

Pics and Snaps!

Check out Kyle Metcalf's youtube link of our Calvacade of Surf showing at the Honolulu Museum of Art

Cody Trent Enger North Shore May 2014: Filmed by Crystal Lew