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The Inertia

“The master of life is the person that still smiles through the bad, and that’s what I try to practice…Out of the bad, there always comes a good. You just gotta trust in it.” – Alex Gray

While Alex Gray is best known for his big-wave exploits and relentless positivity, his greatest achievements transcend deadly surf and two-wave hold downs. As a teenager, Alex lost his older brother and mentor, Chris, to a heroin overdose. The loss devastated the family – and for a period caused Alex to drop surfing altogether. But, in a turn that only life’s unpredictability can inspire, Alex and the Gray family channeled loss into a constructive outlet that honors a family legacy and enables an unflinching pursuit of greatness. ICON: Alex Gray paints an earnest portrait of the resilience of the human spirit in chasing the ocean’s outer limits.

This piece was produced in loving memory of Christopher Gray with the generous hospitality and candor of the Gray family. Thank you so much for sharing your story and to Mike Nulty, Body Glove, and Volcom for your help in making this happen.

ICON is The Inertia’s new profile series that highlights inspiring individuals making meaningful contributions to the ocean and outdoor culture.

Alex Gray Icon




  • Lovering

    An amazing story. An amazing kid. An amazing film!!

  • Glenn Sakamoto

    Bravo! Beautiful feature.

  • EJ

    What a legend – I knew he was a good surfer but I had no idea… Mad respect!!

  • Tim Hamby

    Wow, moving and inspiring… really well done! That we would all approach life with the same spirit of optimism, perseverance and positivity. What a world it could be…

  • Matt

    That was deep…. and very humbling. Thanks for sharing!

  • Chris Michaels

    Heroin will steal your soul…and your loved ones. Stoked to see that Alex has made it through and grown into a respectable young man–and he’s not too bad at surfboard riding either!

  • Luke

    This is just incredible

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