NewsHawaii/Tahiti NuiBilly Kemper

Jaws Is Kemper's "Home Court"

"That was the best wave I've ever ridden in my life."

Surfers say things like this all the time, and it's often a hollow declaration. This best-ever wave is downgraded, exaggerated, superceded or matched by something not quite better, but different. We're prone to hyperbole - it goes hand in hand with being stoked.

But when Billy Kemper makes this claim, the surf world listens -- and for good reason. He's already the King of Jaws after winning out there four times, and he's made a name for himself as one of the hardest-working and hardest-charging surfers to call Hawaii home.

By now, most have seen this wave, which reverberated through Instagram feeds and on screens across the globe. But Billy recently dropped a new clip aptly titled "Home Court" that takes us behind the scene for the hit-and-run mission that led up to this fateful session.

That day actually began with Kemper checking Sunset Beach on the North Shore of Oahu. When a lay-day was called for the Sunset Open-- a contest he would eventually win -- Kemper jumped on a plane to Maui, and headed straight for Pe'ahi.

2020 Ride of the Year Entry: Billy Kemper at Jaws 5
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2020 Ride of the Year Entry: Billy Kemper at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 23, 2020. Angle 5. Video by Marc Chambers.

Jaws has become the gold-standard when it comes to big wave surfing and it's a spot Kemper has a special relationship with.

"Jaws is my obsession. It's a relationship that will never die. It's very emotional, there's a lot of pride, there's a lot of joy, and there's just something there that I cannot get enough of," he says in the clip.

"The rythm and flow that I was in just felt like it was getting better and better. It felt like there was a lead up to something that hadn't happened yet."

It truly has been an epic winter for Kemper, and this wave was just the icing on a cake that also included wins at Jaws, Sunset and the Pipe Trials. For a full rundown on this historic wave, including a moment-to-moment play-by-play on the ride itself, watch Kemper at his "Home Court."

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