Synopsis by Matthew Tobey
With the documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys, skater-cum-filmmaker Stacy Peralta introduced viewers to the history of the West Coast skateboarding culture and made a huge splash at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival, taking home both the Documentary Directing Award and the Documentary Audience Award. For this follow-up effort, Peralta leaves the land for the sea, focusing his lens on the world of surfing. Narrated by Sean Penn, just as Dogtown and Z-Boys was, Riding Giants attempts to trace the origins of surfing and also explore the growth and progress of surf culture. Among the surfing luminaries who chime in on topics varying from the business of the sport to "the big wave" are Laird Hamilton, Greg Noll, and Jeff Clark. Hoping to find the critical success akin to its predecessor, Riding Giants premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.