About Billy Kemper
Growing up on the island of Maui comes with underlying expectations to achieve a high level of success in the water—and to say that Billy Kemper has exceeded those expectations would be an understatement; it’s more like he has obliterated them. Only 30 years old, the 4-time Pe’ahi Challenge Champion has etched his name among the best big wave surfers of all time.
It’s not just Billy Kemper’s surfing that people admire him for, but also his capacity to stand up in the face of adversity. Having dealt with several traumatic events over the course of his career, Billy has still secured victories in several WQS events at Sunset Beach, won multiple XXL Ride of the Year awards, became the Big Wave Tour World Champion, and dominated the lineup at Jaws, among other accolades.
His biggest challenge, however, came in physical form in February 2020. During a strike mission to the fabled right point breaks of Morocco, Billy endured a near-fatal wipeout on a wave of consequence. While setting up for a barrel, he was pitched off his board, went over the falls, and was knocked unconscious. The ensuing drubbing resulted in a broken pelvis, a collapsed lung, cracked ribs, and a knee that needed to be reconstructed.
But how does someone overcome not just the physical obstacles but also the wall of mental blockades that come along with an experience like Billy’s?
They fight. And Billy is a fighter. Only a year removed from that horrible day along the African coast and he’s already back in the water surfing as strong as ever. And his whole journey to recovery was documented in his new docuseries “Billy.”
Men's QS 2023/2024#14
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First season2008 Men's QS