Bustin’ Down the Door

DOCUMENTARY; 1hr 35min

DIRECTED BY: Jeremy Gosch

Chairmen of the board: from left, Bartholomew, Mark Richards and Michael Tomson (in 2007)

Surfing at top pro level is a balancing act of crazy grace. It takes a special moxie to stay on top — not just of the mountainous waves, but of the risks and setbacks. Bustin’ Down the Door harks back to the formative years of professional surfing, with Hawaii’s North Shore of Oahu the 1970s crucible that put the catching of fierce breakers — and the guys who caught them — on the international map. As Australian water baby Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew remembers it to camera (and like his three Aussie and two South African comrades-on-boards, he remembers with striking clarity), the visiting newcomers “weren’t trying to take over. We were just trying to arrive.”


And arrive they did, but the landing was rocky as the cockily ambitious Australians ruffled Hawaiian feathers. With peace brokered, the boys were good to go and go — all the way to world championship titles and the eventual evolution of a multibillion-dollar industry. Bustin’ rolls out the foamy action footage but better yet, it taps into a renegade spirit that’s still alive and riding today.