"I paddle up the face, whip it, get launched and I get knocked out. Everything went… blue. And I could hear the peaceful violin."
The three-time NSSA champ and runner-up to Zeke Lau’s Ultimate Surfer is the subject of a new short film documenting his wild ride after a devastating accident that left him with a traumatic brain injury and depression.
Smith was in Nias, Indonesia, biggest swell ever to hit the joint and, “Third wave, this bomb comes in. I paddle up the face, whip it and go. And it’s a complete fucking closeout. I get launched and I get knocked out. Everything went… blue. And I could hear the peaceful violin.”
Koa Smith, a mature twenty five, was born in Kauai and, as a child, studied the work of Bruce and Andy Irons.
Smith surfs with the contented and dreamy look of the female suckling her young as he dominates some of the best waves in the world including, but not limited to Teahupoo, Skeleton Bay and Pipeline.
But no man is immune from pain when the amygdala, hippocampus, and dorsomedial thalamus conspire to depress.