Riding Giants - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Riding Giants Reviews

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October 18, 2015
Addictive Viewing. Having A True Connection To the Lifestyle, Not Just Antics, Has A History & (Counter) Culture That Is So Pure. I Don't Think Big Is Often Better, But Pushing Your Wave-Riding Limit Mos-Def Is Livin' A Dream, So Much Fun To Be Had. You Gotta Give It Up To Greg Knoll, Jeff Clark & Laird Hamilton, Big-Up Respect To The Pioneers. It's Whack, It's Dope, It's The Freedom To Chase That Perfect Tappering Ride On A Crisp Offshore. A Thrill Forever Remembered. It Makes Me Ecstatic.
July 14, 2015
Great documentary looking at the search for the biggest wave for surfers. Fun history and nicely photographed.
½ May 27, 2015
An absolutely stellar documentary on the history of surfing. Whether you're a fan or if you've never surfed a day in your life, you can't deny the brilliance of this film. Bravo.
January 16, 2015
Another Stacy Peralta homage to surf and skate life style .....amazed at the fact that these old school big wave surfers survived the technology of the time...awesome movie ...
½ April 20, 2014
Quite simply one of the best documentary on Surfing in general let alone big waves. It begins by the origins of surfing & then begins to introduce the key figures of BIG Wave surfing.

The guys that migrated from California really paved the way for Big Surfers to come. It is filled with not only the most amazing surfing footage but insightful interviews with the unique personalities of Big Surf.

A standout in the film is the scene where on an off chance a surfer photographer catches a once in a lifetime photo where he captures what is believed to be the largest recorded wave. The doco goes on to show with the invent of Tow-In that photo becomes the standard wave ridden. True a great film on the impassioned sport!
December 16, 2013
'Surf''s up' - & Up & UP in this intelligent & moving film (..want to get both your feet wet & your eyes) - it recounts surfing's earliest history, it's evolution in style & technique (both boards & boarders), ending with the guys who discovered (& invented) the most current BIG wave theory & practice - no girls.. yet !?!.. it makes one wish one rode - even the small waves.. after all only guys such as Laird Hamilton should ride the over 50 footers - or, for that matter, even over 10 to 20 footers (..well, a lot of experienced guys & gals can handle these - & bigger.. but the truly BIG ones ??).. I write more about surfing than film-making because this film is a very direct & 'clean' use of the medium.. probably the best 'Surf Film' out there * - I should know (at least film-wise)...

* along w/ #2: 'Step into Liquid'
July 22, 2013
Riding Giants is such an amazing surf documentary - absolutely makes me want to run back to Hawaii. †Go check it out at least once
½ May 24, 2013
5/13 i was shocked at how engrossed I was with this film. I never know there was so much to know about surfing ( and that the sport has evolved so much). One of the best documentaries that I have seen in memory. Even a couple weeks after watching it, I am still thinking about the surfing culture.
½ May 24, 2013
5/13 i was shocked at how engrossed I was with this film. I never know there was so much to know about surfing ( and that the sport has evolved so much). One of the best documentaries that I have seen in memory. Even a couple weeks after watching it, I am still thinking about the surfing culture.
½ April 11, 2013
Surfing at it's best in this insightful documentary.
December 7, 2012
Will have to watch this one. Not necassarily good or bad. Will see. Want to watch!
November 4, 2012
Great movie for those who like Surf and wnat to know more about the origins of the surf culture.
½ October 23, 2012
Surfing history lesson, and a very fine one. Manages to keep one interested despite being most of all history, which is by itself quite an achievement, and also allows one to see great surfing. Introducing legendary surfers of both old and new generation, this movie allows one to have a reasonably well-balanced view on the history of surfing. Things get more interesting toward the end of the movie, as waimea, modern-day surfing, slingshot surfing, Laird Hamilton, maverick, tow-in-surfing and teahupoo are brought into the view. Nice, and sure you'll enjoy this surfing history film if you're into surfing
October 2, 2012
The filming, the music and the whole film is just amazing! if you love surfing you'll love this! Really enjoyed it
Super Reviewer
July 23, 2012
Nothing like seeing a documentary on a subject which isn't terribly interesting. Sean Penn actually thought this was something worth narrating. Hope he got paid well. It's polished, I'll give it that.
April 28, 2012
My favorite documentary
April 9, 2012
The best documentary ever. Makes me wanna grab my board and surf every time. If your a surfer you have to watch this.
February 13, 2012
If you've seen Step Into Liquid, you have to watch this. Part history lesson, part spectacle, it's a great documentary for both surfers and non-surfers alike.
½ January 29, 2012
Dokumentär om surfkulturen
Super Reviewer
½ January 26, 2012
"It doesn't get any bigger than this."

Documentary detailing the origins and history of surf culture.

"Riding Giants" opens with a brief, animated, two-minute look at the first 1000 years of surfing, which ends about 1950, when the first big-name surfers began to work their magic. Using remarkable half-century old footage, the doc then follows their path to Hawaii, where surfing became not just a hobby, but a culture that was far more than the onslaught of bad surfing movies in the '50s and '60s led many to believe. The big wave surfers gradually progressed to bigger and better waves around the Hawaiian coast, where most of the surfing community was concentrated until the discovery of The Mavericks, a dangerous but glorious surfing mecca in Northern California. Eventually that locale triggered surfing's stateside explosion in popularity. But one man from Hawaii, Laird Hamilton, has sent the sport as mainstream as possible in recent years. Using teams and jet skis, Hamilton's vision and drive radically changed the mindset of what was possible as surfing entered the 21st century.

Set up like a traditional documentary, Peralta's film lets the surfers themselves tell most of the stories, and he narrates when necessary to provide pertinent details. But the personalities and passion of the interviewees are what drive the picture. These guys are wired differently than most of us; there's no question about that. Their slightly irreverent but still respectful tone lets them get away with comparing the discovery of Hawaii's North Shore to Columbus stumbling upon America. An exaggeration? Of course, but the genuine emotion in their voices and faces make the words fully believable, much like a football player comparing his sport to a war.

Perfectly complementing the almost mythic personalities are the ridiculously massive and powerful waves themselves. From the surprisingly good old-school 8mm footage shot from the shore to the digital in-your-face shots from a jet ski, the photography in Riding Giants is nothing short of stunning. The waves are simply huge, and even though you may have seen quality shots in "Blue Crush", you haven't seen them on this grand and wild a scale. I guarantee your jaw will drop multiple times. The fact that the history of the sport can be encapsulated in less than two hours gives the film a complete and satisfying feel, as opposed to something like Baseball, for which even ten hours was not enough. Those who don't have an interest in any aspect of surfing won't care for it, but even if you can't relate to the surfing directly, you will walk out of "Riding Giants" with a greater appreciation for the sport and a better understanding of what drives those who do it.
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