Less than a decade ago, China could claim only about 100 surfers. In a culture that values collectivism and conformity, an individualistic sport that is known for its spirit of rebelliousness was not encouraged. However, with the announcement that surfing would become an Olympic sport in 2021, that sentiment changed. Can China’s infamous, state-owned Olympic training program succeed in this traditionally free-spirited sport? Surf Nation follows the trajectory of two promising young Chinese surfers, Alex and Lolo, in an attempt to navigate the inevitable clash between the freedom embodied in the sport and the Chinese system.