Laird Hamilton was the golden child of the surf set, a natural-born rider possessed of an innate flexibility and an unheard-of sense of balance. The lad’s natural good looks helped, too, at least to gain him a modeling career and at least one unforgettable big screen performance. (As one talking head notes here, “Surf movies have always been cheesy, but North Shore topped the charts.”) Without a story to swell, the action, there’s only so much a documentary can do with its elements of board, body, and wave. Good thing surf film lovers are, by far, the most easily amused cinema subculture going. (Hamilton & Co’s idea of humor: reminiscing about the time the boys thought they swam 37 kilometers, when in reality it was 37 nautical miles. Get it?) If you’re a surfing fan, odds are you’ve already ordered your tickets. But if it’s a quality film about surfing you crave, track down John Milius’ Big Wednesday. Rory Kennedy directs.
Length: 1 hour, 58 minutes