Riding Giants

Wed 2 March 2005 // 20:00

(Peralta / USA / 2004 / 35mm / 100mins / cert 12a)
(Wed 2nd March / 8pm / £4/3)
This new jaw-dropping, hot-dogging documentary from Stacy (Dogtown and Z Boys) Peralta is a must see not only for surf enthusiasts but any one trying to understand why people would devote their lives to the pursuit of great danger. It starts with an historical primer of surfing's Polynesian beginnings, right through to revival in the 1950's. Then as the movie draws to the present, it concentrates our attention on the innovative likes of Greg Noll, Jeff Clark and Laird Hamilton, who amongst others, abandoned the more fun and social aspects of the sport and went looking for a challenge.

The quest for bigger, more perfect waves in the ensuing years takes the documentary around Hawaii, then around the world. Along the way the film touches on the physics of wave formation, and the evolution of the equipment. With gritty (literally) archive footage and Peralta's trademark enthusiasm and cinematic acumen this is likely to get many beach-bums on seats.