Postcard from the crest of a big wave
Eddie Vedder’s more relaxed, almost hippie countenance is hard to resist
LAIRD likes Eddie. Eddie is awesome. Eddie is a man, a father and the defender of rock ’ n’ roll, Laird says.
Eddie likes Laird. Laird is a big wave, says Eddie. Together, the big wave and the defender of rock ’ n’ roll make an impressive team. They are stars in different ways, but they share common ground or, rather, common water: the surf.
For Laird Hamilton the surf is life itself. He’s one of the most accomplished big wave surfers in history and is the man you generally see in photographs or film footage looking like he’s about to be swallowed whole by a 10m wall of bright blue salt water.
Eddie Vedder is the singer in Pearl Jam, one of the most successful US rock bands of the past 20 years. He is also an experienced surfer and has spent quite a bit of time on this side of the world pursuing his hobby, even when he hasn’t had work commitments here.
For the purposes of this documentary, however, both men are in Maui, Hawaii, where Hamilton and his family live on a rustic property surrounded by lilikoi vines, the ocean and an assortment of dune buggies.
In these the two buddies drive around looking at the ocean, talking in that surf- as- religion language only surfers know.
Nothing wrong with that, of course. In places it’s quite charming to see and hear two mates sharing their experiences and passions.
They go surfing a lot, on big waves, little waves, big boards and little boards. They ride Jet Skis, a helicopter, an ex- army contraption with big wheels.
This doco, episode one in a series, is a mixture of travel documentary and an exploration of the famous at play.
Surf’s their turf: Laird Hamilton and Eddie Vedder on a Maui beach Oh, and bonding. And amateur philosophy. Vedder and Hamilton sit on beaches, in cars and on cliff- tops, musing on the great god surf and its place in the world.
If it weren’t for eating and sleeping, we could spend our whole lives out there, Hamilton says, and you know he’s only half joking.
Once you’ve tired of the action shots of the boys on the water and the cutaways to Eddie and his band making their living, there’s not a lot of substance left.
driven, focused and incredibly fit individual. He and his wife and daughters work out together in their home gym.
If rock ’ n’ roll hadn’t been so successful for him, you get the impression Vedder would be leading a similar existence.
And Vedder’s more relaxed, almost hippie countenance is hard to resist. He’s a walking advertisement for surf culture, chilled and happy.
The film isn’t much more than a postcard, but at least a few times you’ll wish you were there.