Not the First Time
Stories of undercover cops sympathizing with the gangs they infiltrate is not uncommon. It's is always a good source of a story –mostly because of the fact that it humanizes all sides of a given problem. Seeing both law enforcers and the criminals as human beings with their own individual wants and personal goals adds a level of depth that is hard to not appreciate in any narrative.
In the case of Point Break, Johnny Utah's original direction in life was that of a career athlete –one that was cut abruptly short due to an injury during his college years (thus he ends up in the FBI). This makes his exposure to the criminal world of Bodhi and his gang of surfers seem much more inviting. Like him, they are athletes, and like them, he understands the addictive thrill of having adrenaline pumping activities. The fact that Bodhi and his crew also follow a specific type of guiding principle and moral code shows that they truly do not see their own activities as something that is criminal. And while Utah does not share the same sentiment, he can understand their way of thinking.
The Big Wave
The ending scene for Point Break is something that not a lot of people will be able to participate –Utah finally manages to cuff Bodhi, but Bodhi begs Utah to let him go so that he may surf the "once in 50 years" wave. It seems like a ridiculous notion, considering that such an attempt is basically suicide. There's no way to ride that gigantic wave and survive, not without a fully equipped rescue team waiting to grab you when you eventually crash –and even then, chances of survival are still very risky. Bodhi intends to take on the wave, alone, on his own. And Utah lets him go.
But for people with immensely strong passions, some things are truly worth giving your life for just to experience. While there is no 'greater good' nor altruistic gain from Bodhi's death –he does this act only for his own personal pleasure, it still makes sense. Being able to give everything for one's own dreams and goals is a self-justified reason that no one can question. And Utah knows this, he knew even before he arrived. The moment he realized that Bodhi was after the wave, Utah expect this to happen. This is why his pause is not that of hesitation or doubt, but a moment of personal reflection for himself: he wonders whether he will ever have a goal that he will willingly give his life for. He knows that staying with the FBI will not grant him the freedom to explore that desire, and so he throws away his badge after Bodhi goes to die.
Extreme Sports Remake
Point Break has gotten a remake (all be it and terrible one) and even an official point break payday game here (which stands much better instead), and one that adds extreme sports to the mix instead of just surfing. Utah is depicted as a daredevil who specializes in dirt bikes and makes his fame as an internet star, however, an accident involving his brother makes him quit the lifestyle and join the FBI. In this version Bodhi and his crew are performing a series of near impossible extreme sports feats in the form of heists, and Utah's knowledge and background in the sport allows him to track them down and infiltrate the group. The remake matches a lot of the original's key points.