Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton

USA | 2017 | 117 minutes | Rory Kennedy

Take an exhilarating ride with big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton, a unique sports icon who has refused to compete professionally, whose life story unspools as he prepares for winter surf season on Kauai, where storm systems threaten to bring the biggest surf in decades.

A "rip-roaring account of a life spent conquering untamable walls of water"David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

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What does it take to be the face of a worldwide phenomenon? How does one continue to measure up through decades of innovation in a life on the water? Laird Hamilton would know, and shares his story in this documentary from director Rory Kennedy. Though known for her political documentaries, Kennedy (Last Days in Vietnam) takes on a new challenge in Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton, the story of a surfer who became a household name. At only 52, Hamilton has drastically challenged the sport. He is credited with riding the famous surf break at Pe'ahi on the island of Maui, dubbed "Jaws," in the early 1990s, along with Tahiti's Teahupo'o wave—sometimes reaching more than 20 feet high—in 2000. His freedom comes from his refusal to participate in any competitive surfing contests, despite reaching the pinnacle of fame. He rejects the idea that he can be judged for the sport he cherishes, as he considers surfing an art form. Kennedy's documentary profiles Hamilton as a reserved, dedicated surfer whose pathbreaking has changed the sport for all its participants.

Director Biography

Rory Kennedy is one of America's most prolific documentary filmmakers. An Academy Award nominated, Primetime Emmy-award winning Director/Producer, Kennedy has an impressive body of work which deals with some of the world's most pressing issues—poverty, political corruption, domestic abuse, drug addition, human rights and mental illness.

Sponsored by WatchGuard Technologies, Lagunitas Brewing Company

  • Director: Rory Kennedy
  • Principal Cast: Laird Hamilton, Gabrielle Reece, Nick Carroll, Darrick Doerner
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: USA, Bermuda
  • Year: 2017
  • Running Time: 117 minutes
  • Producer: Mark Bailey, William Cawley, Jonathan S. Marshall, Jason Rem, Paul Speaker, Jed Pearson IV, Jack You
  • Screenplay: Mark Bailey, Jack Youngelson
  • Cinematographers: Alice Gu, Don King
  • Editors: Azin Samari
  • Music: Nathan Larson
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: Last Days in Vietnam (2014); Ethel (2012); Ghosts of Abu Ghraib (2007)
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP