Professional Surfer

The Inertia

Editor’s Note: Ian Walsh was one of the many elite athletes tapped as a stunt double during the making of the new Point Break film. Filming for Ian’s portion took place at Jaws on Maui, where he’s a specialist, during one of the biggest swells in over four years. Stay tuned for behind-the-scenes looks from Mark Healy, Makua Rothman, and Laurie Towner.

The anticipation.

Leading up to the day we were supposed to film some of the Jaws portion for Point Break, there was a lot of anticipation, a lot of anxiety. They had to coordinate this whole Hollywood operation while at the same time making sure everyone was safe. There were camera crews, boats, jet skis, helicopters, helicopters filming helicopters – it wasn’t your typical day out at Jaws. Not to mention that the swell forecast was the biggest that it has been in four years.

The big day.

At first light, the swell wasn’t there yet. But by 9 am, the cleanly offshore ocean started to get really, really big. We only had about two hours of solid conditions before the wind came from the North West and turned it into some of the ugliest texture on the ocean I have ever seen. When it turned on, it was go, go, go. I hadn’t put my feet in a tow board in four years. And the first wave I got felt like one of the biggest waves I’ve ever ridden in my life.

Staying focused.

When the waves get that big, you’re so intently focused on surfing and making it out alive. That takes an incredible amount of focus. All the other distractions – the helis, the boats, the cameras – all of that disappears. Even before you’re in the lineup, you have anxiety about it all. But once you’re in the water, all that drifts away. You block out everything else and your blinders are on. Being present, entirely focused on that single moment.

When you’re out at Jaws, you forget about everything else. Your car payments, your messy house – none of that matters. In that moment, all that’s important is surfing.

Point Break comes to theaters everywhere December 25, 2015.


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