Take Every Wave: Laird in VR

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JOIN LAIRD HAMILTON AS HE RIDES THE LONGEST WAVE IN THE WORLD

Laird Hamilton’s life is unlike many others in that his pursuit of excellent physical condition and forward-thinking wave-riding is still thriving at the age of 53. Enter what’s regarded as the longest wave in the world at Chicama, Peru. In Take Every Wave: Laird in VR, Laird takes you on a journey in virtual reality that’s as beautiful as it is poetic.

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Awards

WEBBY WINNER | 2018

Winner in 360-Video for Film &  Video – LIFE VR, Sports Illustrated & RYOT

SPORTS EMMY NOMINEE | 2018

Outstanding Digital Innovation – LIFE VR, Sports Illustrated & RYOT

Experience Laird in VR

On an afternoon in the winter of 2004, big-wave surfer Darrick Doerner launched into a 50-footer at Jaws, the fabled break at Pe’ahi, on the North Shore of Maui. As he began his descent, Doerner found his path blocked by another rider, forcing him down and across the face of the wave. An avalanche of whitewater crashed behind Doerner. The ocean sucked him down.

Not everyone resurfaces at Jaws—which has been called “liquid napalm.” Doerner did, but he got pummeled again. He ended up stranded on a shelf of jagged rocks, awaiting helicopter rescue alongside his friend Laird Hamilton, who had towed him into the wave on a Jet Ski, then tried to save him.

Doerner had spent the bulk of his 47 years in the water, many of them chasing monster swells. But something changed that day. “It was one of the most horrific experiences I ever had, almost dying,” Doerner says in Take Every Wave, a new documentary by Rory Kennedy about Hamilton. “I lost everything on that wipeout. I lost my board, I lost my self-esteem. I never surfed Pe’ahi again.”

A half-dozen years later, back on Maui’s North Shore, Brett Lickle, another member of Hamilton’s inner circle, got crushed by a “tank of a wave” after towing in Hamilton. The fin of Hamilton’s board sliced open Lickle’s leg from the Achilles to the back of the knee. Lickle survived. Still: “That was the end of it for me,” he says in the film. “After that trip, the whole accident, it was like I had my ticket out of the gang. I look at big waves now and I’m just freaking chicken, I’m running for the corners.”

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