7.9/10
3,810
37 user 73 critic

Riding Giants (2004)

Trailer
2:01 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Documentary detailing the origins and history of surf culture.

Director:

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Surfers and secret spots from around the world are profiled in this documentary.

Director: Dana Brown
Stars: Laird John Hamilton, Layne Beachley, Dan Malloy
Documentary | Adventure | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Bruce Brown, king of surfing documentaries, returns after nearly thirty years to trace the steps of two young surfers to top surfing spots around the world. Along the way we see many of the... See full summary »

Director: Bruce Brown
Stars: Patrick O'Connell, Robert 'Wingnut' Weaver, Robert August
Documentary | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Documentary about the pioneering 1970s Zephyr skating team.

Director: Stacy Peralta
Stars: Sean Penn, Jay Adams, Tony Alva
Documentary | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The crown jewel to ten years of Bruce Brown surfing documentaries. Brown follows two young surfers around the world in search of the perfect wave, and ends up finding quite a few in addition to some colorful local characters.

Director: Bruce Brown
Stars: Robert August, Michael Hynson, Lord James Blears
Documentary | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

When six teenage boys came together as a skateboarding team in the 1980s, they reinvented not only their chosen sport but themselves too - as they evolved from insecure outsiders to the most influential athletes in the field.

Director: Stacy Peralta
Stars: Tony Alva, Steve Caballero, Fred Durst
Thicker Than Water (Video 2000)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Thicker Than Water is a 2000 documentary surf film directed by singer/songwriter Jack Johnson and his film school friend Chris Malloy. It shows surfing footage from different locations like... See full summary »

Directors: Jack Johnson, Chris Malloy, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Raimana Boucher, Saxon Boucher, Timmy Curran
Documentary | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Filmed in five countries over three years, the documentary delves into the heart of the locations while the surfers travel through them with a sense of open-minded awe. With never-before ... See full summary »

Director: Taylor Steele
Stars: Craig Anderson, Timmy Curran, Rob Machado
Documentary | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Action sports documentary that follows the industry's best big wave surfers as they travel the world searching for the largest waves that nature has to offer. The journey spanned 18 months, 6 continents and produced up to 70 foot waves.

Director: Philip Boston
Stars: Ken Bradshaw, Ken Collins, Brian L. Keaulana
Music | Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Director: Jack Johnson
Stars: Shane Dorian, Luke Egan, Brad Gerlach
Documentary | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

With a first-person look at the notorious Crips and Bloods, this film examines the conditions that have lead to decades of devastating gang violence among young African Americans growing up in South Los Angeles.

Director: Stacy Peralta
Stars: Jim Brown, Tony Muhammad, Kershaun Scott
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The film follows the surf and skateboarding trends that originated in Venice, California during the 1970's.

Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Stars: Heath Ledger, Emile Hirsch, Victor Rasuk
Down the Barrel (TV Movie 2007)
Documentary | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The essence of surfing is an elusive ideal. Part sport, part state-of-mind; an avenue for self-expression, a metaphor for freedom; a ritual, a competitive event, a dangerous journey, a ... See full summary »

Director: Steven Lawrence
Stars: Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, Joel Parkinson
Edit

Cast

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

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It doesn't get any bigger than this.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

13 August 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A hullámok lovagjai  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$2,276,368 (USA) (3 December 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Firesuite
Performed by Doves
Written by Jimi Goodwin, Jez Williams and Andy Williams
Courtesy of Astralwerks
Under License from EMI Film & Television Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
An A+ Entertaining Documentary
17 January 2004 | by (Park City) – See all my reviews

Wow! Stacy Peralta has followed up Dogtown and Z-Boys with an equally stunning documentary about the history of the big-wave surfing culture in America. Piecing together insider archival footage along with interviews from surfing legends, we are transported into the daring and free-spirited life of the early pioneers whose sheer passion for the sport spawned an industry that today touches the lives of millions.

It's getting to know these icons and their stories that gives the film its warmth. You can feel the respect Peralta has for this group as we hear accounts of Greg Noll striding from a pack of awestruck fellow surfers on the beach to singularly challenge 50-foot swells off Hawaii's North Coast. Or Jeff Clark, surfing the outrageously dangerous Maverick off the northern California coast all alone for 15 years before it was discovered and became the surfing destination in California. And the storybook history of Laird Hamilton, today's surfing icon. Hearing Greg Noll reverently refer to Hamilton as the best surfer ever sent chills up my spine.

(As an aside, Noll, Clark and others were at the Sundance screenings. Noll humbly described himself as an old, over-the-hill surfer. He was deeply moved by the audience reception of him and film. Both he and Clark were as likable in person as they were in the film.)

Riding Giants pays homage to these extraordinary athletes while at the same time rewarding us with an insight into the magnitude and terrifying power of the waves they seek to conquer, the gut-wrenching vertical drops required to get into them, and the almost unfathomable combination of adrenaline and fear that the surfers experience each time they take on a monster swell.

All this, and the movie has more. For those of us that didn't live in California in the 60's, we get an insight into the impact of surfing on American pop culture. (And, to my surprise, the impact of the movie Gidget on surfing!) Peralta also weaves in a primer on some of the technical aspects of the sport and the history of innovation in equipment. I'm not a surfer, but like the rest of the Sundance audience, I was absolutely captivated by this film. Peralta is staking his claim as the Big Kahuna of American documentaries.


22 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
'Step into Liquid' vs 'Riding Giants' sru-3
Song Title dfraser99
soundtrack 500a-z
The Riding Giants (COMPLETE) Soundtrack raftone
What is the piano song while Dave Kalama is surfing Peahi? surlycalavera
DVD? andywarholswetdream
Discuss Riding Giants (2004) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page