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Greg Noll, Dave Kalama, Peter Mel, Titus Kinimaka, Darrick Doerner, Brian L. Keaulana, Laird Hamilton

Directed by: Stacy Peralta
Written by: Stacy Peralta, Sam George
Produced by: Agi Orsi

US: 09 JULY 2004
UK: 03 DEC 2004

Riding Giants takes us along surfing's timeline from it's early Polynesian roots, to its rebirth in the early 20th Century, to the development of a fledgling surf culture along the coast of Southern California in the 1940's highlighting the group of extraordinary adventures that emerged: surfers who, not satisfied with the mere recreational and social aspects of the sport, began searching for bigger and bigger waves, pushing the boundaries of performance to explore the "unbidden realm." Riding Giants is the story of these big wave riders, of where and how their quest began, of the classic characters who throughout the eras chased their dreams out into the blue water, and of the surfers who still do today, riding 50, 60 and even 70 foot waves in a manner once considered the realm of fantasy. We meet Greg Noll, the pioneer, whose relentless push into Hawaii's "unhidden realm" in the late 1950s and '60s earned him the nickname "The Bull." Then there's Jeff Clark, Northern California's lone frontiersman who, after discovering massive waves of Maverick's near San Francisco, rode their alone for over a decade. And finally Hawaii's Laird Hamilton, the prototypical "extreme" surfer, a rare breed of athlete/innovator considered the best big wave rider who ever waxed a board. In turns funny and spirited, often poignant and dramatic, their stories are the heart of Riding Giants. Yet in the telling of their tales emerges a picture of not only these extraordinary characters, but authentic insight into the birth, development and ultimately the global appeal of the romantic, culturally significant surfing lifestyle itself. Riding Giants is driven by the same sense of freedom, the same love of nature, the similar discovery of self that all surfers seek-that all of us seek, in one form or another. Experience the breathless moments of quiet grace that, for these extraordinary adventurers, are to be achieved within their elementally violent world.
There's something so majestic and primitive about surfing and surf-movies that they even grab a card-carrying land-lubber like me. Probably something to do with being back in the womb - or some other psycho-babble. Whatever - sit back and ride the big one without even getting wet. Apart from the pantal area of course.

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