7.9/10
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37 user 74 critic

Riding Giants (2004)

Documentary detailing the origins and history of surf culture.

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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Jeff Clark ...
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Darrick Doerner ...
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Sarah Gerhardt ...
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Dru Harrison ...
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Brian L. Keaulana ...
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Buzzy Kerbox ...
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Mickey Munoz ...
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Storyline

A semiserious, often rollicking, multigenerational insider's look at the origins of surfing, the colorful and subversive birth of surf culture, and the mythology and lure of the big wave. This passionate and fluid film is without question the first authentic history of surfing from its humble Hawaiian beginnings to the big business it became to the still-rebellious universe it inhabits today. Riding Giants is a study in individuality and freedom, the pursuit and techniques of pure kinetic pleasure, and the risk taking and attitudes that characterize its leading figures. For some viewers, this is perhaps more than they ever wanted to know. But Peralta's detailed knowledge of the surfing lifestyle, its icons and locations, its boom and exploitation by the media, and the fascination it has held for young men for more than five decades is unparalleled and fuels this expedition for the expert and initiate alike. Closely chronicling the sometimes-life-and-death drama that big-wave riding ... Written by Sujit R. Varma

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It doesn't get any bigger than this.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

13 August 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A hullámok lovagjai  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$134,400 (USA) (9 July 2004)

Gross:

$2,276,368 (USA) (3 December 2004)
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Company Credits

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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

Various additional, cut scenes are shown during the credits. See more »

Connections

Features Ride the Wild Surf (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

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Performed by Pearl Jam
Written by Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, Mike McCready, Eddie Vedder and Dave Abbruzzese
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User Reviews

(Arizona road sign: "Rough Shoulder Ahead"
8 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"RIDING GIANTS"

…may have also been entitled, "RIDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS", considering not only the ridiculously statuesque height and power of the curling, H2O monsters they inhabit, but the sheer depth, width and character-breadth of the mere ubermensch who have chosen to do so.

Documentarian, Stacey Peralta has captured enough of the prime footage of big-wave riding in this stunning and jaw-dropping film (as well as its grainy, true and primordial history), to extricate the believer in anyone. And, as others have said, that's only the beginning…

Never having ridden anything larger than smooth, 8-10 ft curlers off K-38 in Sonora, Mexico in my So Cal youth, I have 'no way' of wrapping my mind around what legendary surfers such as Greg Noll, Jeff Clark, Mark Foo (sadly, deceased) and Laird Hamilton have not only dreamed of, but accomplished in their fantastic lives. Beyond the staggering mental challenge of making the decision to 'commit' to the initial drop into 50-ft moving mountains at 40 mph, there's the strength and stamina continued over almost impossibly intense, short moments to consider – along with the balance, the focus and the quick-wittedness to bring off a successful ride (not to mention the ability to hold your breath for over 2 minutes under 10,000 tons of churning, knashing, limb-ripping water during the stress of it all if you wipe out) -- 'success' in which case applies to much like that of an airplane landing; one where you are not absolutely and positively killed to death.

Along with the immensely stunning photography, the music track is a gift – and in some moments, poetic. As well, you'll totally appreciate the mono/dialogs of this film, with most of the narration done by the giant-riders themselves – making it a true documentary story. And the out-takes at the end of the film are gems.

Perhaps you've never up-righted yourself on a surfboard, or even allowed yourself to be carried along, virtually unaided, by gentle incoming swells. Maybe you don't even like the ocean. Not to worry – you'll be magically lifted away on the 'shoulders of giants.'

Excruciatingly recommended…


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