What I like:
*The music. The soundtrack features many songs spanning the genres of surf-rock, alternative, and hard rock, and a little tolerable hip-hop. The music is all from musicians who I've never heard prior to this game, and probably never would have, and it's excellent and fits with the game perfectly.
*The idea. It's a surfing game, that's fairly new to me. Other than California Games for the C64, I don't recall ever playing a surfing game.
*The graphics. Water graphics tend to be hit or miss in video games. They're either good or look like crap. They tend to lean towards the former in this game.
*The footage. There are lots of commercials, surfer bios, and bonus movies with this game. The surfing footage is pretty cool, and fun to watch even if you're not a big surfing fan.
What I'd change:
*More environments. As I mentioned, this game takes place in several locales. But really, once you're on the board (which is always) everything looks the same. You're in the water, after all. I realize there's only so much you can do with this, but they could have added a boardwalk or something interactive that you could use when upgrading/buying things.
*More to do. Unless you love surfing, a game based solely on surfing seems a little narrowly focused to me. Even if they only added other water-sports, such as jet-skiing or parasailing, it would have added some enjoyment.
*Less WIPEOUT. What would a surfing game be without humiliating wipeouts? Sure, but this game is non-stop wipeouts. Tricks are hard to pull off, and one false move leads to a WIPEOUT. And once you wipe out, the wave is gone, so every time you have to either swim to another wave or call a jet-ski to pull you to one. Either way, it's a pain and gets repetitive.
There is some fun to be had here, but unless you're a surfing enthusiast you'll most likely get bored after a few hours. If you liked the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series, and you're looking for something similar yet different, you may enjoy TWS. The achievements, upgrades, and level progression run almost exactly the same way.