You may have seen the waves Kai snagged at Maverick’s this past Saturday on his Instagram or in this video we shared from Powerlines Productions, but I’m willing to bet you haven’t seen this angle yet (unless you were on the boat with Abe Alarcon when he scored the shot).
Abe isn’t afraid to steer his drone close to the water for the perfect angle, even at a wave as big and unpredictable as Maverick’s. A few weeks ago, I got out on the boat at Mavs with him and the Mavericks Surf Awards team, and got to see Abe at work. He plays the part of videographer, driver, and pit crew all at once, with four extra batteries on hand which he changes out like tires to keep the drone running for an entire session. “Getting close is what it’s all about with drone shots,” Abe told me. “It makes you feel like you were right there in the action when you watch the video. I haven’t lost a drone in a while, but even if it does happen I still get the video on my phone!” It’d have to be one hell of a shot to be worth sacrificing a drone, not to mention the ethical ramifications (do drones have feelings?).
As for Kai, one Instagram comment basically summed up how I feel about this wave. “Dude it’s like your riding down a mountain with an avalanche behind you and you see a nice lil wind lip and pop a 360 real quick no big deal. Some James Bond shit right here boy!” said Selby Glass. Some James Bond shit indeed. He makes huge swell look absolutely playful. We all know that isn’t the case.