The documentary celebrating skateboarder Danny Way, Waiting for Lightning, from Samuel Goldwyn Productions has been out in limited release for about a month. It managed to gross close to $20 million. The Jacob Rosenberg-directed flick follows the origin story of one of the more polarizing figures in extreme skateboarding, A man that made stunt riding big, but also a man who has overcome demons both personal and professional to become the man he is today.
Maybe you remember Danny Way for his extraordinary skateboard jump over the Great Wall of China in 2005 or his helicopter drop in 2008, rather than from a tumultuous childhood where he lost two father figures and, in turn, dove deeper into boarding. All of Way’s life events, however, are covered in the film; there can’t be one without the other. The penultimate scene of the film is of course the Great Wall jump, which has cemented his legacy in skateboarding circles (pay particular attention to the rickety ramp the Chinese helped build), but the film itself, as the trailer shows, is more of an in-depth story of survival.
Way wasn’t just born jumping incredible lengths and heights on a 11 x 33 inch deck, he had a journey to where he is now, and this film covers the three decades leading up to his historic jump, and serves as a paean to Way’s oftentimes arduous path. Whether he’s overcoming injuries or a hectic home life, he perseveres and various extreme sports stars Rob Dyrdek or Tony Hawk (both featured in interviews) all agree that Way’s contribution to skateboarding helped put it back on the front page of popular culture, while also transforming him into an extreme sports star. Now we all get to see where that star came from, and experience his own ride.