Revealed: The tragedy that shaped big-wave world champ Billy Kemper, “I still have nightmares about it; I can still hear my mother screaming…”

Episode four of the wonderful, if padded out, documentary series ‘Billy’… 

You know the story: little Billy Kemper, a four-times Jaws winner and 2017 big-wave world champ, is belted to within an inch of his life at a Moroccan ledge.

The six-part series, called ‘Billy‘, follows this trip to Morocco, the injury, his long rehabilitation and his triumphant return to contests.

Episode four is a real tear jerker, one that will have the viewer crouching in his armchair like an animal that is cold.

It follows his triumphant return to America (thanks to executive producer and WSL CEO Erik Logan who, last episode, tearfully whispered to his wounded comrade, “Gonna bring you home, Billy”), a visit from Laird Hamilton who offers Billy his home, with its gymnasium and pool and ice baths, to rebuilt his busted body and the revelation that the death of shredder older bro, Eric Diaz, of a drug overdose has driven everything.

Billy’s words come helter-skelter, his thoughts coming from the pit of his stomach.

“I just did everything I could to do what he taught me, to live up to what he had set for me,” says Billy.

One-time best surfer in the world Dane Reynolds reveals new manifesto, “Is there a Satanist Cabal BBQ’ing babies at George Soros’ house while Bill Gates implants tracking devices in every human being or is half the population losing their goddamn minds?”

"Covid tests are being used as conduits for microchips to be implanted into our bodies that ultimately will be used to make us slaves that mine cryptocurrencies."

There is, I’ll posit, no better journal of surfing than Dane Reynolds and Mini Blanchard’s Chapter 11 TV  channel.

It is, simultaneously, wicked, innocent, provocative, intellectual, magnetic.

Very much like its master Reynolds, who is thirty-five and the last bulwark of a sport in the grip of its darkest enemy, the chilling rise of the adult beginner, the VAL-apocalypse.

In a sprawling thought piece surrounding today’s episode, Reynolds is heckled at Zuma,

It looked fun enough so I suited up and ran up the beach to where there was a hole in the crowd. A guy parked in a black Porsche SUV starts yelling out his window “Fuckin beat it Reynolds go back to Silver Strand and leave your cameraman at home you fuckin kook…” I laughed and gave him a sympathy nod cause I thought it was an attempt at humor but as I keep running and his yelling gets fainter I realize he isn’t joking and now it actually becomes funny. The last words I hear is ‘that’s what I thought.’

In the water a man suggests Reynolds might wanna get into non-fungible tokens or NFTs.

Out in the water a long haired fellow on a soft top asks if he can have 30 seconds of my time for a business pitch. You can’t really say no so he proceeds to inform me that NFT’s are all the rage and they could be right up my alley.

“What are NFT’s?” Well shit, I still don’t quite understand but someone is creating something called crypto punks which are 8 bit digital art files that are being traded for millions of dollars. Fuckin crazy. My brain does not compute. Fascinating and foreign. Why would you want ownership of this art? Why is it crypto? What the fuck?

Reynolds, in good form, questions life in 2021.

Is there a Satanist Cabal BBQ’ing babies at George Soros’ house while Bill Gates implants tracking devices in every human being or is half the population losing their goddamn minds?

The soundtrack is characteristically superb and includes song one from Ween’s 12 Gold Country Greats, I’m Holding You.

“I’m trippin’, writhin’ and squealin’, pukin’,” sings Gene Ween.

Much more, but click on link etc.

CH | 11 | TV | 009 from CHAPTER 11 TV on Vimeo.

WSL CEO Erik Logan weeps recounting big-wave world champ’s catastrophic injuries in part three of documentary ‘Billy’: “Every breath was getting shorter and shorter and shorter…”

"Fear. Trauma. Pain."

 One year ago, Billy Kemper, a four-times Jaws winner and 2017 big-wave world champ, had his pelvis snapped while surfing a wild swell at Morocco’s best wave, the righthand point Safi, a little like Lennox meets one of those Mex sand-bottoms.

The six-part documentary series, called ‘Billy‘, follows this trip to Morocco, the injury, his long rehabilitation and his triumphant return to contests.

The doco has been a little slow but, here in episode three, we get to the meat of the bone and our mouths on the teat, the pleasingly creamy colostrum flowing.

We learn that Billy was choking on his fluids, shitting the bed after overdosing on anti-inflamms and the lengths the WSL’s heroic CEO Erik Logan went to to ensure the Champ’s survival.

“Just the words Billy was saying, I could feel the pain,” Erik, an executive producer on the series, says between sobs, promising Billy he’d “bring him home.”


See the Moroccan wave that almost snapped a Hawaiian big-wave champ in two! “Did he drown? Is he dead?”

Part two of the documentary series 'Billy'.

Four days ago, at the launch of the six-part documentary series Billy, which follows the travails of big-wave champ Billy Kemper, more than a few people were asking, how they gonna milk six eps out of this?

Today, in part two, the pace slows down, the rhythm falls into place, and we get to Billy’s fateful trip to North Africa.

In a follow-the-action vlog-style, Billy, and pals Koa Smith and Luke Davis, chase a swell to a wave, a rounder version of Lennox Head, that I always figured was a no-no to name. When I surfed the joint twenty years ago it was dominated by a cabal of gangster bodyboarders and any sort of exploitative behaviour, photos, vision, was strictly verboten.

Anyway, the gang is electrified by a second swell and led by their Moroccan guide Jerome Sahyoun, many a crotch fire is stoked.

And then comes the wave that almost disengages Billy Kemper from this mortal coil.

“Is he dead? Did he drown?” Koa asks a boat driver.

“Please don’t leave me here,” Billy begs.

Emotional dehydration etc.

“Indestructible” Five-foot-five, sixty-three-year-old surfer dominates at North Shore’s most demanding wave!

The continuing miracle of former world #3 Michael Ho… 

Turn off the clocks and cut the telephone cords. Give the dog a juicy bone so it stops barking. 

Stop everything, for, here, in this short film by Rory Pringle is the continuing miracle of Michael Ho, sixty-four this year, a man who won the Pipeline Masters at forty and is still tunnelling at the North Shore’s most demanding wave alongside the best in the world.

First wave, hands behind the back set at Backdoor cut to Black Magic Women, Santana. Epic.

And, here, a brief summation of Michael Ho’s career, as told by Matt Warshaw. 

Ho became one of Hawaii’s first full-time professional surfers, and in 1975 finished runner-up in the Duke Kahanamoku Classic and the Pro Class Trials. Ho was already being called the world’s finest “position” surfer, meaning he invariably placed himself in the most critical section of the wave using the simplest and cleanest line. He often rode with a ramrod straight back, knees apart, his right arm distinctively held out from his body, hand dangling at the wrist. (Younger brother Derek Ho, the 1993 world champion, surfed in much the same way.)

At 5’5″, 135 pounds, Ho was never able to explode through a turn the way his heavier peers could, but nobody was quicker on their feet, and few were as innately stylish. He was one of the world’s best tuberiders in the mid- and late ’70s (he helped invent the “pigdog” tuberiding technique), and his skills only improved throughout the ’80s.