What an amazing film, charting the rise of surf culture in California and Hawaii through the '50s and '60s, starting with the early long and heavy board proponents of the sport. It was the era of the beat generation, only this offshoot was dedicated to the hedonism of beach culture and surfing, living off the land, and generally dropping out. Loads of high-quality amateur footage show the progress towards bigger and bigger waves - I don't even surf, but some of these monsters are utterly awe-inspiring. It follows the surf bums as they scour Hawaii's northern reaches for bigger and bigger breaks, landing at last at Waimea where Greg Noll rose to become the finest big wave rider of all.
For me, the film really took off when it moved to California and the insane Maverick break - a mile or two off-shore (close to San Francisco) in rip tides and freezing water, 30ft waves - a break ridden by one single hero for FIFTEEN years, before it came to wider attention! Then onto Jaws in Hawaii (60 - 80 ft waves!!), where tow and surf was born, and then onto the three-mile offshore breaks with even bigger waves. I'll leave the finale for you to discover!
I found this a truly mesmerising film. If documentaries about extreme sports and the lifestyles that go with them is your thing, this is unmissable.