Doc Ball had a huge influence on promoting surfing in California and world wide during the 1930’s and 1940’s because of his over 900 photographs and thousands of feet of 16mm film that he shot in and out of the water of the top surfers and innovators of that time such as Tom Blake, Hoppy Swartz, Pete Peterson and Duke Kahanamoku. 

Legendary surfer, shaper and filmmaker Greg Noll explains Doc’s influence on surfing and his friendship with Doc Ball.   Jack "Woody" Eckstrom describes the process of shooting shots from the water using Doc's water box.

The Life Story of Doc Ball is directed and produced by Carl Ackerman who also made Shaping 101 with John Carper of JC Hawaii that sold world wide for many years.  The film is written and co-produced by Malcolm Gault Williams who has been writing books and articles independently and for surf magazines for over 25 years.

Our intent has been to make a film honoring the legacy of surfing's first dedicated surf photographer who, more than anyone, helped popularize surfing during its early years as an emerging international sport.

It is our hope that through our efforts, Doc's story will be viewed, appreciated and enjoyed by viewers interested in how surfing began in the United States; what surfing was like before and after World War II; and the story of a man who played such a large role in popularizing the sport worldwide. 


distributors are welcome to call anytime.


T  /  505-410-2250

North East Heights,

Request an appointment.

© 2016 by  Ackerman Digital, LLC. Proudly created with

a few of the main credits