8 October 2005 | Missileman1
(Arizona road sign: "Rough Shoulder Ahead"
may have also been entitled, "RIDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS", considering not only the ridiculously statuesque height and power of the curling, H2O monsters they inhabit, but the sheer depth, width and character-breadth of the mere ubermensch who have chosen to do so.
Documentarian, Stacey Peralta has captured enough of the prime footage of big-wave riding in this stunning and jaw-dropping film (as well as its grainy, true and primordial history), to extricate the believer in anyone. And, as others have said, that's only the beginning
Never having ridden anything larger than smooth, 8-10 ft curlers off K-38 in Sonora, Mexico in my So Cal youth, I have 'no way' of wrapping my mind around what legendary surfers such as Greg Noll, Jeff Clark, Mark Foo (sadly, deceased) and Laird Hamilton have not only dreamed of, but accomplished in their fantastic lives. Beyond the staggering mental challenge of making the decision to 'commit' to the initial drop into 50-ft moving mountains at 40 mph, there's the strength and stamina continued over almost impossibly intense, short moments to consider along with the balance, the focus and the quick-wittedness to bring off a successful ride (not to mention the ability to hold your breath for over 2 minutes under 10,000 tons of churning, knashing, limb-ripping water during the stress of it all if you wipe out) -- 'success' in which case applies to much like that of an airplane landing; one where you are not absolutely and positively killed to death.
Along with the immensely stunning photography, the music track is a gift and in some moments, poetic. As well, you'll totally appreciate the mono/dialogs of this film, with most of the narration done by the giant-riders themselves making it a true documentary story. And the out-takes at the end of the film are gems.
Perhaps you've never up-righted yourself on a surfboard, or even allowed yourself to be carried along, virtually unaided, by gentle incoming swells. Maybe you don't even like the ocean. Not to worry you'll be magically lifted away on the 'shoulders of giants.'