Conversations with some of the best big-wave surfers in the world — hosted by one of the best big-wave surfers in the world, Jamie Mitchell. New episodes will drop on Surfline each week.
A conversation with the only man to win four championships at Jaws
Welcome to Episode Ten of Season Three of Late Drop – The Big Wave podcast. The series was created to showcase conversations with some of the best big-wave surfers in the world — hosted by one of the best big-wave surfers in the world. New episodes will drop on Surfline every other week — Stay tuned here for more Late Drop episodes.
Professional big-wave surfers are humans of another ilk. And even among that elite group, there are those that set themselves apart from the rest: Laird. Dorian… Billy.
A former WSL Big Wave World Champion, Maui native Billy Kemper has won the Peahi Challenge four times. To win at Jaws just once takes a special kind of devotion and a unique competitive edge. His performance at what many consider to be the greatest giant wave in the world is so dominant, it’s almost mysterious. In this episode of Late Drop, Kemper unravels a bit of that mystery for us, among other revelations.
0:00 Recent session at glassy Jaws, Doing the WSL Challenger series in Europe
12:12 His unique approach to Jaws, Training under Laird Hamilton, Looking for the biggest barrel ever, His equipment preference and custom Futures big-wave fin
28:03 Surfing Maverick’s, Growing up on Maui, Competitive relationship with Albee
35:43 Working hard, Providing for his family, Taking competition seriously, His legacy at Jaws
46:18 Training with Kahea Hart, Committing himself to fitness and nutrition
59:30 Horrible accident in Morocco, Nearly losing his identity, Putting life into perspective
1:08:22 Plans for this winter, Looking for new barrels, Winning events
Late Drop Big Wave Podcast with Keala Kennelly
The hard-charging big-wave world champion from Kauai that goes by the name of KK.
Presented by http://futuresfins.com
“I was pretty much raised by savage wolves,” said 2018 Womens Big Wave World Champion, Keala Kennelly, “But it turned me into a warrior.” Those wolves? Kauai boys. The Irons. The Alexanders. Heavys like that. And warrior, indeed. Unapologetically herself—and a rad one, at that—Keala’s actions have always spoken louder than words. From a successful career on the CT, to breaking glass ceilings at Code Red Teahupoo, to plain being an inspiration to generations of girls following in her footsteps, this is a very special episode. Spill that tea, KK.
0:00 Growing up in Hanalei, Kauai, Living near the Irons’ and other surf stars, Competing with the boys in contests, Using her anger to charge big waves, Growing up in a surfing family, Nearly becoming a cop after losing sponsors
8:50 Finding surfing with the Irons’ and dreaming of becoming a pro, Qualifying for the World Tour at 17, The sentiment toward women competitors back then, No women in the Triple Crown of Surfing for a decade, Giving women more opportunities to rise to the occasion in competition
20:28 Being on Tour, Winning at Teahupoo 4X, Runner-Up to world champion, Layne Beachley’s dominace, Never recovering from that 2nd place finish, Leaving the Tour for acting, Giving her Tour spot to Michelle
29:35 Becoming a season regular on HBO show, Living in LA for a year for the show, Show gets cancelled and economy crashes
35:53 Coming out of the closet while being a pro surfer, Losing all her sponsors, Becoming a charging, heavy water freesurfer, Begging guys at Teahupoo from the channel to tow her in during big swells
44:09 Ripping off half her face during Code Red Swell, Winning first ever big wave womens tour event at Nelscott Reef, Oregon, Winning biggest barrel of the year at XXL Awards and nominated for an ESPY award, First woman ever to be invited to The Eddie
56:47 Competing in the first few Peahi Challenge womens events, Winning a big wave world title in 2018, Advice to young women coming up and following in her footsteps
The San Diego big-wave icon and author articulating the realities of head trauma
Welcome to Episode Six of Season Three of Late Drop – The Big Wave podcast. The series was created to showcase conversations with some of the best big-wave surfers in the world — hosted by one of the best big-wave surfers in the world. New episodes will drop on Surfline every other week — Stay tuned here for more Late Drop episodes.
In big-wave surfing — much like normal-wave surfing — the audience usually sees two things: the makes and wipeouts. Both, very entertaining; both, which earn guys and girls awards each year. What we don’t see, however, is what those wipeouts can do to a person, over and over, over time. What a concussion — let alone, multiple concussions — can do to someone. Perhaps, this is the big-wave world’s taboo topic, but San Diego charger and big-wave awards winner, Derek Dunfee, has done a whole lot to articulate (and write a book about) the effects big-wave surfing can have on your brain, specifically, one that is concussed. In this very special episode of The Late Drop, Jamie Mitchell and Derek Dunfee get real about the “network of issues,” one might see from multiple head traumas in the sport they love.
0:00: Growing up in San Diego, Surfing La Jolla, Windansea, Surfing every single day, History of the Windansea surf club and hut, Learning to surf from Dad, Doing NSSA events, Surfing different types of boards/guns/fishes
9:52: Becoming a Tavarua boatman, Getting sponsored by Volcom, Getting into big waves, Being used to respecting the locals and etiquette (from La Jolla), Not getting waves at spots at first
21:12: Derek’s path to Maverick’s, Friendship with Zach Wormhoudt, Going to Todos Santos, Being selfless and watching people/doing safety from the Ski
33:20: Fostering the new, younger generation, Being patient, Getting his first concussion at Cloudbreak, The Turkey Day swell and his XXL award winning wave
42:45: Derek’s beginning of his “end” of surfing big waves, Symptoms Derek would feel from his concussions, The series of hitting his head on reef at spots, Nearly drowning at Cortez Bank, Encountering anxiety with big waves, Not being able to focus his right eye, Network of issues
52:32: The dark period while writing his book, Finding a specialist to work with about concussions, The incredible responses on social media, Getting his lived saved by Shawn Dollar
1:02:43: Being there to listen about concussions, Helmets, Derek’s day to day routine, Hyperbaric chamber
1:14:51: How does someone know when they’ve had a concussion, Researching CTE, Derek’s book: “Waking Up in the Sea”
The Aussie big-wave surfer-shaper that’s packed bombs with the best of them.
The surfer-shaper is truly a special kind of surfer. They know what works, what doesn’t, and all the nuance in between because they’ve had their paws on every curve and concave of the craft, over and over and over again. But the big-wave surfer shaper? Like Dylan Longbottom? That’s another kind of responsibility. A guy like Dyl—who has packed bombs from Teahupoo to Shippies—he knows the level of quality a board in that type of surf deserves. A guy, who after 30 years of professionally freesurfing big waves, is now shaping boards for the crew (and Lucas Chumbo) out at Nazare: Dyl and his boards have seen places few surfers on the planet have. In the newest episode of the Late Drop, Dylan Longbottom shares with Jamie Mitchell how he got his life to this point.
0:00 Growing up in Cronulla and then the South Coast, Having a dad that was a surfer/glasser, Being a kid working in the shaping bay, Got picked up by Billabong at 18 as a freesurfer, Making videos with Bali Strickland while still shaping
10:31 Got his bricklayer apprenticeship, Shaped his first board at 24, The Billabong Challenge at the South Coast
17:55 Began surfing with straps and tow surfing in the 2000s, Practicing rotations for air-game
23:50 Getting into big-wave surfing, Relationship with surfing huge Teahupoo, Shipsterns Bluff, The pivotal session at Shipsterns with Andy, Parko and Laurie Towner
32:46 The Code Red Swell success, Getting his equipment dialed at Teahupoo, Shaping for guys out at Teahupoo, Worst experience at Teahupoo
42:35 Filming stunt work for Point Break at Teahupoo, Focusing on the Australian big waves for Billabong’s Adventure Division
48.43 Shaping for guys like Lucas Chumbo, Surfing Nazare, The way he’s kept his surf career alive this whole time
54:19 Dealing with his most horrible experience at Nazare, Going from quads back to thrusters on boards,
1:05:10 Surfing big waves with his daughter, Where he sees big-wave surfing going, Where he sees big-wave equipment going
It ain’t easy on a kid moving over to the North Shore of Maui from the Mainland — let alone another country. Sardinia’s Francisco Porcella, however, is cut from a different cloth. And even though he learned to surf off of a large island in the Mediterranean Sea, the dashing Italian stepped up to the plate very quickly as a teenager on Maui — and joined the league of gentlemen and women at Jaws that led the paddle-in new era. Eventually, after about a decade of working at the big-wave game, Francisco was making his mark, surfing the Jaws events, winning the XXL “Biggest Wave Award,” and turning heads wherever he arrived. Never a one-trick Italian stallion, he also gets his kicks skydiving, and, well, being an Italian celebrity (See: Dancing With the Stars). In the newest episode of The Late Drop, Jamie Mitchell gets the goods from this international man of mystery.
0:00 Growing up in Sardinia, Italy, Playing soccer seriously, Bombing hills in Sardinia, Quitting soccer to move to Hawaii and surf big waves, Windsurfing seriously then getting into big wave surfing, Having a life in Sardinia playing outside
7:46 Watersports and surf scene in Sardinia, Surfing Jaws at the time when it went from Tow to Paddle, His inspirational session with Sion and Nate
14:31 Moving to Maui at 14 years old, Proving himself on Maui, Getting a JetSki, Beginning to tow at 18 years old, Chasing the big-wave dream in his early years, Parents moved back to Sardinia and Francisco and brother stayed on Maui, Trying for 10 years before a break
23:16 Inspired by Shane Dorian, Enjoying the power of Nature, Skydiving with wind suits, Training yourself mentally in extreme sports to translate into big waves, The friendships you build in big-waves
34:17: The struggles in big-wave competitions, Maintaining the dream at Jaws, Winning biggest wave of year, Going back to Italy and being on some TV shows, Getting sponsors through the TV gigs while basing in Sardinia, Sharing that stoke with the younger watermen and women of Sardinia
48:04 Big wave goals for the future, The richness of experiences
50:15 Advice to the younger generation following in his footsteps
from Pico Alto to Puerto Escondido—the Peruvian King holds court…
Welcome to Episode XX of Season Three of Late Drop – The Big Wave podcast. The series was created to showcase conversations with some of the best big-wave surfers in the world — hosted by one of the best big-wave surfers in the world. New episodes will drop on Surfline every other week — upcoming guests include, XXXX and others. Stay tuned here for more.
Being a professional surfer—let alone professional big-wave surfer—is no easy livelihood. Now, try being one from Peru. The flights are long no matter what, the support can be hard to find, and you’re often overlooked by superstars coming from waves like Jaws. Not Peruvian Gabriel Villaran. A man who’s made it his life’s goal to carve out a seat at the table for his country in the big-wave convo (and beyond), Gabriel’s been impressing the world for decades now. From his homebreak of Pico Alto, to Jaws, to Puerto Escondido, to Todos Santos...from what you’ve seen of the man, you may have even forgotten that he’s a multiple national champion, South American and ISA world champ. You know…in normal-sized surf. On the cusp of Peruvian surfers’ arrival to this year’s Olympic Games in Japan, Gabriel Villaran and Jamie Mitchell chop it up on the newest episode of the Late Drop.
0:00 Peruvians qualifying for Olympic Games, Growing up in Lima, Peru, The connection between Peru and Hawaii
12:46 Getting into big waves in Peru, Surfing Pico Alto for first time, Pico Alto (Explained)
21:50 Gabriel’s professional career, Father passing away, Surfing career his only option, Meeting Strider in Hawaii, 2008 big results, Transitioning into a big-wave surfer, Todos Santos event
32:39 Making the finals of the first Jaws event, Relationship with Puerto Escondido, The next generation of young Peruvian big-wave surfers, The struggle of being a South American pro surfer
45:04 Winning the ISA Games in Peru, Beating Australia, Coach Davo, Tow days with Strider and Quik crew in Teahupoo
52:04 Big-wave searches and projects with Red Bull, Realizing the fragility of life, Worst wipeouts in his career (at Pipeline and at Jaws)
1:06:30 The international big-wave