Documentary about guys who ride big waves. REALLY big waves. Master rider of anything requiring a board Stacy Peralta shows us the history and development of the sport.
In this expertly wrought companion piece to Dogtown And Z-Boys, Stacy Peralta charts the development of big wave surfing, from the discovery of breaks off Hawaii to the modern phenomenon of jet-ski-assisted surfing. Easily bearing comparison with Bruce Brown's seminal The Endless Summer, this stands as the second-best surf documentary ever made.
Among the many highlights is Jeff Clark's one-man championing of the terrifying break off California's Maverick Beach, the surfer recalling how he spotted the terrifying grey breakers from his school classroom window as a child, and then surfed them alone for nearly 15 years (nobody else had the cojones). This story is emblematic of the passion, obsession and solitary poetry of surfing.
Plus there are actual shots of surf-Nazis. Yup, they really did exist.
Hell yeah. Best seen as a double feature with Dogtown And Z-Boys, but both stand alone as outstanding documents of their respective artforms.
Reviewed by Adam Smith