Riding Giants.
July 23, 2004 11:16 AM   Subscribe

Riding Giants. Stacy Peralta's new release, is a chronicle of big-wave surfing , from the pioneering men who ride mountains of the ‘60’s, to the humongous tow-in riders of today. To understand the enormity of their courage, read John Krakauer's epic account of Mark Foo's last ride. Check out the greatest photographed wipeout in surfing history. And read more about surfing's most evil wave and check out the waves at your favourite surfing break.
posted by F4B2 (12 comments total)
surfing's most evil wave link . (I apologize in advance if post is too Maverick's heavy, I just started reading about this amazing wave).
posted by F4B2 at 11:20 AM on July 23, 2004

Big-wave surfers employ an arcane calculus of understatement, rigidly adhered to, whereby the height of a wave is pegged at roughly half the actual dimensions of the face. A wave that stands 30 feet from trough to crest is said to be an 15-footer,

Glad to see this pointed out – wish they would post this at every beach so folks would understand the impressiveness of BIG wave riding. Usually become frustrated while explaining this with the non surfers. Even the knowledgeable ones in physics think ocean waves are not the same as the wave lengths learned in their physic's text books. Most think waves exist at the shores edge not realizing the very wave they see has traveled long distances and are through out the ocean itself. Must be the can’t see it doesn’t exist theory…

Any mention of “Trestles.”
posted by thomcatspike at 12:38 PM on July 23, 2004

Hate to be a language Nazi but "enormity" doesn't mean what you think it means, but rather "The quality of passing all moral bounds; excessive wickedness or outrageousness" (see link for further discussions on usage).
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 3:12 PM on July 23, 2004

Somehow my last comment got truncated... this is just a friendly dissent... according to Webster's Dictionary, "enormity" can also mean:

3 : the quality or state of being huge : IMMENSITY
4 : a quality of momentous importance

So I like my unconscious measure of the huge size of the waves with the huge size of the courage presumably needed to ride them.

Not that I'm disagreeing with you or anything.

(Further note from Webster's:

Enormity, some people insist, is improperly used to denote large size. They insist on enormousness for this meaning, and would limit enormity to the meaning "great wickedness." Those who urge such a limitation may not recognize the subtlety with which enormity is actually used. It regularly denotes a considerable departure from the expected or normal . When used to denote large size, either literal or figurative, it usually suggests something so large as to seem overwhelming and may even be used to suggest both great size and deviation from morality . It can also emphasize the momentousness of what has happened or of its consequences .
posted by F4B2 at 3:42 PM on July 23, 2004

Great links.

I hadn't heard that Jay Moriarty had died. I'll always remember the picture of the wave he caught there at Maverick's. Moriarty's hovering on the very lip of that wave, about to litererally and uncontrollably "drop in". On the faces of other surfers watching from the water in the photo, you can almost see nobody thinks he'll survive.

If you're interested in more about the personalities who pioneered big wave riding, try North Shore Chronicles by Bruce Jenkins (emphasizes Waimea, not the Mavericks break). Dan Duane's Caught Inside talks quite a bit more about the Santa Cruz/Half Moon Bay surfing scene from the perspective of a "lay surfer"....and if I remember right has a chapter or so about Mavericks, and describes Mark Foo's red-eye flight from Honolulu to the cold Bay....and his death before noon.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 4:04 PM on July 23, 2004

Awesome! I have nothing but respect for peope who take on mother nature like this and wish I had the guts to do it myself.
posted by dg at 5:40 PM on July 23, 2004

Heh, there was an article in our local paper this morning about a documentary made by Stacy Peralta, Riding Giants (interview with Peralta). A quote from the article referring to the people who ride these waves:

"You don't become one, you are one"
posted by dg at 7:04 PM on July 23, 2004

As tri-state kid who's never been west of St. Louis, I've always had a raging fascination with anything surf and surf-culture related, from skateboarding to The Lively Ones. One day, I'll ride a wave. I hope it's as fun as it looks.

This adds to the collection, thanks.
posted by jonmc at 8:14 PM on July 23, 2004

I'm looking forward to seeing it... his last outing, "Dogtown and Z-Boyz" was great.
posted by bucko at 8:43 PM on July 23, 2004

A very recent article on Jeff Clark, the guy who "discovered*" Mavericks, & surfed it alone for 15 years... so continues my Mavericks obsession...

(* though Mavericks was actually discovered, according to John Krakauer's article, by Alex Matienzo in 1962, who surfed some small swells & named it after his dog, who "had followed him into the wave."
posted by F4B2 at 11:18 PM on July 23, 2004

That's the coolest thing about Mavs - that this guy surfed there ALONE for 15 years... I mean, I get scared surfing by myself in 6ft surf, let alone 25ft! Looking forward to seeing Riding Giants, heard it went down very well at Sundance.
posted by Onanist at 12:31 PM on July 24, 2004

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