When skateboarders engage in the kind of barstool chat that consumes sports like baseball, Danny Way usually emerges as their pick for Best Skater Ever. Mainstream audiences may assume Tony Hawk is the Michael Jordan of skateboarding, but Danny Way is the skater’s skater.
Way’s career and turbulent home life are chronicled in a new documentary, “Waiting for Lighting,” which will enter limited release Friday in theaters and also be available on iTunes. The point of the film, which inspires the title, is that Way is the sort of athlete who chases progress over achievement. The biggest competitive moment isn’t about competition as much as it’s about Way’s lifelong battle with his own body and will. This comes during the 2008 X-Games, when Way seriously injured himself in the Skateboard Big Air event (an event he created). He defied doctors and logic by continuing in the contest, and stole the crowd when he stuck his post-injury run. The judges gave him second.
“Waiting” is second feature-length skate documentary in as many months, following “Bones Brigade: An Autobiography,” which came out in November. But unlike “Bones,” which was a portrait of the influential 1980s skate team of the same name, “Waiting” aims for broader appeal by taking on the lofty theme of how inner conflict enables athletic achievement.