Anne Marie Chadwick (Kate Bosworth) was riding the crest of success on the surfer circuit until a near fatal accident on a Hawaiian coral reef shook her confidence and curtailed her passion. Now, three years later, she is trying to psyche herself up to compete at the highly touted Pipe Masters competition to be held on the same beach.
If overcoming her fears are not enough of a challenge, she's also in charge of her unruly 14-year-old sister, Penny (Mika Boorem) who has a smoking habit and likes to spend late nights at the local club. Deserted by their mom in favor of some party boy, the girls live in a leaky island shack with two other roommates, Eden (Michelle Rodriguez) and Lena (Sanoe Lake). Every morning they catch the waves before being habitually late for their maid jobs at an Oahu hotel where they subsist on junk food and room service discards.
But, despite the odds, the blonde boarder prepares for the upcoming contest until she meets Matt Tollman (Matthew Davis), a star quarterback staying at the resort with his team. Left to clean up the players' vomit and a condom after a night of wild partying, the feisty attendant confronts the pigskin boys and catches Matt's attention. Hiring her for surfing lessons, it isn't long before their involvement moves beyond the instructor-student relationship and into the bedroom, threatening to interrupt her training schedule as well as her friendships on the home front.
Bronzed bodies and tiny bikinis are plentiful as the profanities and sexual quips in this film where the girls are ready to prove themselves as tough as the boys. The after effects of the drunken bash carry no consequences for anyone other than the unfortunate chambermaids who have to clean it up.
Baring much more than just her dreams to Matt, Anne Marie is left to decide if her beachside romance is a Cinderella fairytale complete with a handsome prince or if, when the tide rolls out, she is nothing more than one man's island trophy.