We’re proud to announce the release of Like Water, a short film we produced in partnership with OluKai that pays homage to the bravery of the Hawaiian lifeguards. This year, a reversal of Senate Bill 462 made Hawaiian lifeguards legally liable for many ocean-related hazards, and their courage deserves our attention.
Starring Mark Healey, Brian Keaulana, Archie Kalepa, Mark Cunningham, Kamu Davis, Bryan Phillips, and many of the North Shore’s elite watermen, Like Water brings awareness to the challenges lifeguards patrolling one of the world’s deadliest stretches of coastline face out of the water.
“The lifeguards have been consistently attacked by the state,” said big wave surfer and former Junior Guard Mark Healey. “Now, they’re liable. They go save somebody, and they go, ‘No, I don’t think you saved me good enough, I’m going to sue you.’ They’re personally liable.”
Considering the responsibility of keeping civilians safe on the North Shore is already a life-endangering proposition, we felt it was necessary to shine a spotlight on their role as a cornerstone of the community. As it turns out, it’s a big one.
“Lifeguards in Hawaii are like professors in a college,” said Hawaiian water safety expert Archie Kalepa. “They sit on that tower day in and day out. They see the tide change. They see the currents move. That comes from years of knowledge. For the normal person, they see the beauty. The lifeguards, they see the beast. Sometimes the beast is sleeping, but the beast is there, and they know that.”
“Everyone who walks on our beach, everyone who swims in our ocean becomes part of our family,” said ocean safety pioneer Brian Keaulana. “We’re not divided by land. We’re connected by water.”
Special thanks to OluKai for making this project possible as well as Archie Kalepa, Kamu Davis, Mark Cunningham, Bryan Phillips, and Mark Healey for your time and hospitality and to Gabe Reuben for ninja shootin’ and editin’ and Matt Paul Catalano for additional footage.
Also, check out our first installment of Aloha Files with Kai Lenny presented by OluKai.