Johnny Tsunami
Johnny Tsunami promotional advertisement
Directed by Steve Boyum
Produced by Gerald T. Olson
Written by Ann Knapp
Douglas Sloan
Starring Brandon Baker
Lee Thompson Young
Kirsten Storms
Music by Phil Marshall
Distributed by Disney Channel
Release date(s) July 24, 1999 (1999-07-24)
Running time 88 minutes
Language English
Followed by Johnny Kapahala: Back on Board
IMDb profile

Johnny Tsunami is the 10th Disney Channel Original Movie, released in 1999. It is the predecessor to Johnny Kapahala: Back on Board, released in June 2007.

Plot Summary

The movie starts out when Johnny Kapahala (Brandon Baker) is living in Hawaii. Johnny has good friends, a great family, and a grandpa who is a surf legend. But then, his dad gets a job transfer and makes his wife and Johnny move to Vermont.

In Johnny's new town, there are two schools: one is a private school where the students are all skiers, and the other is the public school where all the students are snowboarders. Although Johnny goes to the skiers' school, he would prefer to snowboard because he thinks it is more like surfing. Although he has a hard time at first, Johnny eventually learns how to snowboard with some help from Sam Sterling (Lee Thompson Young). While at his new school, Johnny meets a girl named Emily (Kirsten Storms), whom he becomes good friends with.

However, a skier named Brett likes Emily as well. During one incident in the mountain, the Urchins (the students from the public school) decide to ride the side of the mountain that belongs to the skiers and are confronted by the Skies (the private school students). A quick fight ensues between Johnny and Brett, but is immediately dispersed when a snow ranger arrives. When Johnny arrives home after a meeting with his parents and the principal concerning the fight with Brett, Sam tells Johnny that he is moving to Iceland, as are his father's orders since he is a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. Intent on doing something to prevent the move, Johnny and Sam fly to

Hawaii on a cargo plane to stay with Johnny's grandfather. Johnny and Sam have a great time in Hawaii surfing and enjoying the warm weather, but they decide to come back to Vermont along with Johnny's grandfather, the famous Johnny Tsunami. Johnny, to his amazement, finds out that his grandfather has great snowboarding ability and they decide to ride the skiers' side of the mountain, where the best rides are. Brett and his gang meet Johnny and his grandfather and they decide to have a one-race challenge between Brett and Johnny. If Johnny wins the race, then the skiers must share the mountain with the snowboarders. If Brett wins, then he is awarded the Tsunami Medal, a prize given to the best surfer in Hawaii. Johnny goes on to defeat Brett, allowing him and Emily to begin a relationship.

The two brothers who own the opposite sides of the mountain finally reveal their story. Their parents couldn't agree on what should happen when they inherited the mountain, which ended up being split between the two families. After the race, they finally re-unite.


  • The scenes in Vermont were shot in Utah. All skiing and snowboarding scenes were shot at Brighton Ski Resort in Utah.
  • Unlike the sequel, Johnny Kapahala: Back on Board, this film will not be released to DVD but was released on VHS on March 5, 2002.
  • Goof -- At the scene where both Emily and Sam are at the bottom of the cornice about to fall off, we see Sam take off Emily's board. When Johnny comes back with the Ski Patrol, the officer yells down to the two of them. We can see Emily's orange board still attached to her when he calls down and they respond.

External links

Preceded by
Smart House
Disney Channel Original Movies Succeeded by