100 Foot Wave Review – Awesome, A Cinematic Masterpiece

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100 Foot Wave, from HBO Max, presents the journey of big wave surfing pioneer Garrett McNamara’s and his global quest to find and conquer the 100-foot wave, and how it transforms his life and the sport.

 

The series begins by introducing the viewer to the concept of big wave surfing. Most have images of surfers paddling out and sitting on their boards while the scan the horizon for what looks like a nice size wave they could ride into shore. Riding the wave in; returning and paddling back out. Big Wave surfing is a little different.


 

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Not far into the series we understand big wave surfing is an extreme sport, which entails, surfers being towed on a jet ski out past the small breaks. This is when we meet Garrett McNamara, who essentially invented the concept of big wave surfing, and then continued to evolve the sport, which is why he is called the pioneer.

Throughout the series we learn more about Garrett and his wife Nicole. How they met, which of course was at a tropical destination, and a sudden realization that they were each other’s destiny. Unfortunately, they were both married, and for Nicole, she was just 13 days into her marriage. As it was, they left their spouses and began their life.

She became his logistical support. As a big wave surfer, it isn’t possible to just wait around until a storm generates a wave large enough to classify as a big wave. Big wave surfers’ study global weather patterns, looking for the largest red oceanic gatherings which will then generate the 40 to 60 to 70 foot plus waves.

As the documentary is centered on surfing, one can expect the destinations are breathtakingly gorgeous. And like any sport, athletes need to train. Surfers must be able to hold their breath underwater for more than three minutes.


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We see Garrett, who has a drive to be the best, to be recognized as a world class athlete, train underwater, picking up heavy stones, underwater, and running, dropping the stones, taking a breath, and beginning again.

We see him and as the episodes progress, we meet others drawn by the same calling, a wild calling of the sea, a challenge by the ocean god, to pick up their surfboards from around the world and where the big waves are, they will be also.

Big Wave surfing isn’t hanging ten with the guys and gals, it is a dangerous, a fall is like hitting a brick wall at 60mph. To compensate for this, Garrett McNamara is shown developing a lightweight wet suit that allows for the intense padding needed to protect the surfers against the possibility of bone-crushing injuries.

One day, while Garrett and Nicole are watching at the oceanic weather patterns, they see a deep read swell, off the coast of Portugal, in a small fishing village called Nazare, which has the potential to generate the 100-foot wave, more than the height of an eight-story building.

Once the couple arrive in Nazare, Portugal, and stand at the lighthouse looking out, they see swell sets rolling into the shore. It was clearly, the biggest waves in the world would be here, in Nazare, Portugal. And once the pioneer arrives, the world follows.


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Filmed across six-episodes, 100 Foot Wave delivers some of the most sensational cinematography seen. More than spectacular wipe-outs, which are a huge draw on YouTube, the majestic swells, massive sets of waves, some more than 80 foot and this soul, a dot against the magnitude of the ocean’s strength, sails down the face, bouncing, bumping along like a stone skipping across a clear placid lake, outrunning the monstrous crush that is curling overhead. It is dramatic, dazzling, and impressive.

Emmy nominated 100 Foot Wave has received two 2022 Emmy nominations for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series and Outstanding Cinematography for A Nonfiction Program.

100 Foot Wave can be seen on HBOMax. Thrilling, see it.


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Country: USA.

Runtime: Six Episodes/55minutes.

Platform: HBOMax.

Director: Chris Smith.

Executive Producer: Chris Smith, Maria Zuckerman, Ryan Heller, Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller, Bentley Weiner.

Director of Photography: Mike Prickett,

Cinematography: Lauren Pujol.

Cast: Garrett McNamara, Nicole McNamara, Andrew Cotton, Laird Hamilton, Bill Sharp, CJ Macias, Al Mennie, Mike Prickett, Maya Gabeira, Rodrigo, Justine Dupont, Kai Lenny, Buzzy Kerbox, Tom Butler, Lucas ‘Chumbo” Chianca, Walter Chicharro, Anderson Cooper, Thierry Donard, Roo Clarke-Jones, Liam McNamara, Francisco Porcella, Alex Botelho, Brock Ladd, Dino Casimiro, Carlos Burle, Fred David, Hugo Vau, Laurant Pujol.

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