The gargantuan waves in the surf movie Chasing Mavericks may look unreal in the film’s new trailer, but the seemingly mythic location that gave birth to them is very much a real place. Mavericks is a spot on the northern California coast where the conditions are just right for waves so mammoth and dangerous that only top tier surfers attempt to ride them (and even then, a few have died trying).

The location was made famous in part by surfer Jay Moriarity (played in the film by Jonny Weston), who was photographed riding them when he was 16. Chasing Mavericks, the latest from director Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential, 8 Mile), tells the story of how Moriarity got up there — thanks to the mentorship of surfer Frosty Hesson (Gerard Butler). Check out the trailer below:

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