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Waveriders (DVD Review)

13 Mar, 2010 By: Angelique Flores

Street 3/16/10
$24.98 DVD
Not rated.

Southern California and Hawaii are usually the first places that pop in our heads when we think of surfing. Waveriders could add Ireland to the list.

Narrated by Irish actor Cillian Murphy, this documentary captures the rise of the country’s surf scene as well as the waves that have drawn the likes of pro surfer Kelly Slater and many others to Ireland.

From professional surfers, soul surfers (surfers who surf for enjoyment and not commercialization) and surf historians, the Emerald Isle is one of the top big-wave surfing destinations that came to prominence in the late 1990s.

Surf travel writer Kevin Naughton and surf photographer Craig Peterson arrived in Ireland during the late 1970s. The two surfers had traveled the world documenting trips for Surfer magazine to fund those trips. They made an impact on the world of surfing by exposing unknown places with good wavers with few to no people riding them. Naughton talks about his arrival to Ireland and how he knew it would be the next big place to make a splash in surfing.

They are among many Irish surf enthusiasts interviewed here.

Soul surfers and Irish-American brothers the Malloys discuss when they came to Ireland before it became a popular destination among surfers. And pro surfer Slater reminisces on when he took a break from competing and came to Ireland to see the country’s waves for himself.

Besides claiming some of the best waves, Ireland has some claim to the father of modern surfing, George Freeth Jr., whose father was from Ireland. This surf pioneer revitalized the sport at the turn of the 20th century, invented the paddleboard and lifeguarding, and was hailed as a hero after saving several boats of fisherman.

This multifestival award-winning film offers a compelling look at decades worth of footage and pictures as well as interviews about Ireland’s surf and its surfers. It’s less of a sports documentary and more of a historical documentary that details Ireland’s place in surf history.

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