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With this unusual, way-offbeat documentary, Joel Conroy offers an unique take on a familiar subject: the film examines the Irish origins of the west coast surfing culture. Conroy filters this history through the tragic life of George Freeth - an Irish transplant who turned early 20th century Hawaiian kings onto surfing, and thus resurrected a long-buried pastime that eventually spread to the masses. The film immediately delves into Freeth's tale, then travels around the world charting his influences across numerous cultural boundaries - from Hawaii, to sunny Southern California, to the… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 56%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Although the action footage is impressive, it becomes repetitive, exposing the rest of the movie as something of a ragbag. Surfing fans may be more enthused."
‑ Trevor Johnston, Time Out
"It's an entertaining and thought-provoking take on a sport, and a lifestyle, whose identity and history is increasingly under threat from commercial interests."
‑ Kezia Clark, Little White Lies
"The sensational footage of surfers barrelling through 50ft waves provides most of the appeal. But Joel Conroy's documentary is full of scrapbook curios."
‑ James Christopher, Times [UK]
"The footage of the tiny figures riding these ferocious 50ft monsters goes past awe-inspiring into something almost indefinable."
‑ Jonathan Crocker, Total Film
"However much you admire the daring of these young surfers, you soon realise that listening to them yarn on about the sport can become very, very boring."
‑ Anthony Quinn, Independent
"Slightly waffly paean to Irish surfing, rescued by the always awesome sight of waves as high as the screen, and consummately skilled, tanned blokes turning them into a canvas."
‑ Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph
"Initially, Waveriders looks like surf porn, but quickly reveals itself to be the story of the sport's unlikely genesis."
‑ , Empire Magazine
"Some awe-inspiring big-wave action."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"Riding Giants covered much of the same ground in 2004 - and did it better."
‑ David Edwards, Daily Mirror [UK]
"a winning combination of personal testimony, history lesson and heart-thumping action footage that chronicles Ireland's contribution to the development of surfing. An impressive insight into a little-known world."
‑ Allan Hunter, Daily Express
"Strictly for wave fans."
‑ Cosmo Landesman, Sunday Times (UK)
"The first essential surf movie since Riding Giants."
‑ Richard Luck, Film4
"It's a tall tale that suggests the teller has swallowed the Blarney Stone whole."
‑ Tim Evans, Sky Movies
"A few spectacular waves and a bit of interesting history is not enough to sustain a feature-length film. So it is probably just surf fans who will think Waveriders is swell."
‑ , Sun Online
"Watchable surfing documentary with some genuinely stunning footage, but you never really get to know the surfers themselves and the film doesn't do anything that Riding Giants didn't do twenty times better."
‑ Matthew Turner, ViewLondon
More reviews for Waveriders on Rotten Tomatoes