Can surfing teach you about life and how to live it? Can it drag you out of yourself enough to figure out just what it’s all about? That all depends on the surfer: Chasing Mavericks is based on the true story of Jay Moriarty (played by Jonny Weston), an accomplished surfer, and amazingly positive kid from Northern California. The story begins with a young Moriarty counting the time between wave breaks. He is with Kim, a staple in his life, and future wife. While saving her dog, he gets knocked into the water by a wave and is pushed down. He is saved by a surfer (Gerard Butler as Frosty) who just happened to be in the right place at the right time, and tells Jay that he has used up his allotment of dumb luck for life. Jay is bit, and finds an old surf board in his garage.
Skip ahead seven years and Jay is an accomplished surfer outperforming everybody on the water. He watches Frosty, who still lives across the street, and follows him early one morning. This is Jay’s introduction to Mavericks; a set of big waves that roll into the Northern Californian coast each winter. Waves can reach as high as 50 feet and surfers can reach speeds exceeding 50 miles per hour. Jay is instantly attracted to the challenge, and in his excitement gets caught by Frosty.
Somehow Jay convinces Frosty to train him how to ride Mavericks, and his tutelage in both surfing and life begin.
This was a great movie; it was beautifully shot, and shows how determination, skill, and a willingness to go beyond oneself can help achieve any goal. There aren’t any amazing surprises, but the story doesn’t need them; Jay is a great character and his struggle to become a part of something so much bigger than himself is worth watching. The soundtrack is also amazing! For anyone familiar with the music of the time; it will be love at first listen. This is one movie not to miss.