Riding Giants proves more than many of last years cinema documentaries that as long as you get your structure right, you can make anything interesting. I am not someone who is vaguely interested in extreme sports, and surfings only boon in my life has been The Beach Boys. But Stacy Peralta’s doco marries some wonderful visuals with a positively engaged set of talking heads and left me with a rather in depth knowledge of big wave surfing.
That said, I would have liked more info on surfing deaths: the film skates around all but one dramatic death of a surfing pro. There must be plenty of amateurs who die every year, and to talk about the danger without the stats seemed an omission. But the biggest gap was more information on the post Gidget surfing explosion. Indeed I would have liked more about Gidget full stop. Perhaps it is embarrassing to the surf bums that the most famous and most important populariser of surfing was Sandra Dee!