Riding Giants 2004 PG-13 CC

Amazon Instant Video

(136) IMDb 7.9/10
Available in HD

From its early Hawaiian roots to its current status as a recreational lifestyle enjoyed worldwide, bigwave surfing is given the definitive exploration by acclaimed director Stacy Peralta (Dogtown andZ-Boys).

Darrick Doerner, Dave Kalama
1 hour 42 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices.

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Riding Giants

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Product Details

Genres Sports, Documentary
Director Stacy Peralta
Starring Darrick Doerner, Dave Kalama
Supporting actors Laird John Hamilton, Dru Harrison, David H. Kalama Jr., Dave Kalama, Brian L. Keaulana, Buzzy Kerbox, Titus Kinimaka, Gerry Lopez, Peter Mel, Mickey Munoz, Greg Noll, Gabrielle Reece, Evan Slater, Kelly Slater, Anthony Tashnick, Darryl Virostko, Mike Waltze, Grant Washburn
Studio Sony Pictures Classics
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 136 customer reviews
Well made and great addition to any collection of sports/surf movies.
Eric L. Willard
It turned out to be the best surf film I have ever seen, one of the best documentaries I have ever seen, and possibly one of the best films I have ever seen.
J. Ferguson
Instead, it reminded me that life is something to be loved and lived with devotion.
M. Dog

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

117 of 118 people found the following review helpful By mirasreviews HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 12, 2005
Format: DVD
"Riding Giants" is a superb documentary on the history of big wave surfing, directed and co-written by Stacy Peralta, who also made 2001's skateboarding documentary "Dogtown and Z-Boys". Peralta was a Z-Boy himself, as well as a skateboarding manufacturer and videomaker, so "Dogtown" was very much his element. But "Riding Giants" surpasses "Dogtown" with improved technical proficiency, writing, and editing. It's a dynamic account of the history of the surfing subculture, starting centuries ago, but focusing on the past 55 years, which saw surfing explode into mainstream culture and become extraordinarily athletic and increasingly daring.

"Riding Giants" has 3 parts or acts, each concentrating on one surfing innovator and the culture in which he thrived. The first act explores the world of Greg Noll, surfing's flamboyant celebrity of the 1950s and 1960s. Interviews with Noll and other surfing giants of the time, including Ricky Grigg, Mickey Munoz, and Mike Stang, take us through the genesis of the surfing lifestyle in Southern California to Hawaii's Waimea Bay, through the explosion in surfing popularity brought on by "Gidget" in 1959, up until Noll surfed "the greatest swell of the 20th century" at Makaha in December of 1969. "Riding Giants"' second act focuses on Jeff Clark and the surfers of Maverick's in Northern California. Clark tells the story of surfing Maverick's alone for 15 years before finally convincing 2 other surfers to join him in 1990. Maverick's surfers talk about the challenges of cold water, fog, and rocks and the day that Mark Foo died.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Cubist on January 7, 2005
Format: DVD
While the Billabong Odyssey tried to recreate The Endless Summer for the big wave surfing set, Riding Giants is much more ambitious. Fresh from the success of his documentary on `70s skateboarding, Dogtown and the Z Boys, Stacy Peralta takes the next logical step and tackles the history of big wave surfing. What makes these men and women ride such huge waves and run the risk, in some cases, of almost certain death? This doc attempts to answer that question.

Peralta breaks things down into three acts, each one dominated by three legends of the sport from different eras. Greg Noll is a renowned surfer who rode the biggest wave ever. Jeff Clark tamed the wild surf 20 miles from San Francisco known as Mavericks. Laird Hamilton, the greatest big wave surfer of his generation, pioneered a new method for riding big waves further from the shore than had been previous attempted.

There is an audio commentary by Stacy Peralta and his editor Paul Crowder. They talk at length about the film was put together in terms of editing. This is an engaging, informative track.

Surfing fans are in for a real treat with the second commentary track that features surfers, Sam George, Greg Noll, Jeff Clark and Laird Hamilton. It's great to hear these guys, especially Noll, tell old stories and cut loose with surf lingo. They joke and have fun watching the movie. It is also interesting to hear them talk about the technique of various surfers.

"The Making of Riding Giants" is a 28-minute look at how Peralta made this doc. Peralta even talks about how he did his research and organized his doc.

"Fuel TV's Blue Carpet Special" is a 20-minute look at the premiere of the film at the Egyptian Theater with stars like John Cusack in attendance.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Linda Linguvic HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 19, 2005
Format: DVD
Here in New York City I'm surrounded by tall buildings and a cold and snowy winter. It's a perfect time for a surfing film and Riding Giants, the 2004 entry into list the ever-growing documentaries about the sport, is one of the best. By now I take the spectacular cinematography that is possible today for granted. But I just cannot get enough of the real-life stories of the surfers who risk their lives for their obsession.

For example, there is Jeff Clark. For fifteen years he surfed all by himself in frigid water off the rocky coast of California just north of San Francisco. When other surfers finally discovered these waves, the best of them rushed there with photographers at the ready. The cameras were running when a well know and experienced surfer, Mark Foo, drowned. And then there is Laird Hamilton. He's enjoying his fame and fortune now. But we first meet him in the late sixties, a little boy of 4 years old, who loved to body surf. One of the surfers took an interest in the little boy, and wound up marrying his single mother. Little Laird grew up in the world of surfing and has recently made a fortune when he developed a business for jet skis and a towing boats Formerly, it would take hours for a surfer to get out to the big waves. But now this is done in a matter of minutes and it's changed the sport entirely.

The film is a documentary about surfing from the 1950s on. I've seen other films on this subject but it seems there is always new and fresh material. This time it is includes some vintage home movies about group of young men who defined convention, and went off to live on the beach and do nothing but surf all day. We watch them surfing and playfully living their free and fun life. Many of them are still alive with happy memories of that time.
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