"There was the World Title and the Olympic spot and we all just got in the zone of wanting something so bad." That was Lakey Peterson in "Breaking Waves" a Newsy documentary that follows Peterson, Carissa Moore and Caroline Marks as they compete for the two spots on the U.S. Olympic surf team in Maui.
The 20-minute film traces how these surfers rose to the elite of the sport, but also covers the fight for gender equality and the pressures that comes with winning and losing at the highest level of the sport.
Of course three doesn't go into two and it's the heartbreaking narrative arc of Lakey Peterson missing out on an Olympic place that is the most compelling aspect of the film.
"My mom had a world record for swimming and the year she made the Olympic Team was the year the US boycotted the Games and she never got to go," says Peterson. "It's always been a dream of mine since I was a little kid to make the Olympics."
A Round 16 loss to Tyler Wright in the lululemon Maui Pro meant that dream was shattered, along with her World Title aspirations. It was a bitter pill, but one that Peterson has spent time processing.
"For a really long time I've been trying to be the best in the world," she says. "I think I've realised over the last few months that I just need to be my best, in surfing, in life, as a daughter and a wife, in everything. I want to be my best version of myself."
For Moore and Marks securing the two Olympic spots was an incredible achievement and the other side of the competitive divide. The documentary shows the spoils of success as they celebrate with partners, friends and family and then appear on the Today Show.
Yet they also reveal the obstacles they have overcome to achieve their goals. "As a young woman I struggled with body positivity and self confidence and I went through my own eating disorder," says Moore.
Marks, still a teenager, also had to deal with body image issues, but emerges triumphant just at the time as the groundbreaking decision was made to give woman surfers equal pay.
It's a revealing and emotional behind the scenes look at the joys, as well as pressures, of what it takes to be the best surfers in the world.