After suffering a life-threatening injury on a surf trip in Morocco, World Champion Big Wave Surfer, Billy Kemper, confronts the tragic personal losses that have both defined his life and motivated him to succeed. Follow along each week as we drop every episode of 'Billy', a six Episode docuseries by Layne Stratten.
“This is a story of when what you love threatens to take you from who you love.” - Selema Masekela
Watch as Billy talks about the meaning of his relationship with Reef and family
2019 was a career-defining year for Billy Kemper. From coveted magazine covers to Big Wave contest wins to a memorable run in the Pipe Masters, Billy was riding an incredible wave of momentum into 2020. That all changed in an instant with a life-threatening fall in big, barreling surf at Morocco’s Safi Point.
“You can’t leave me. I gotta go home. I gotta make it home.” - Billy Kemper
After suffering a life-threatening fall on a strike mission in Morocco, Billy Kemper found himself living out every surfer’s nightmare. Stuck in a faraway hospital with a severely injured knee, hip, and pelvis, Billy’s only goal was to get back to his wife and four kids. The journey home would be more unpredictable and difficult than he could have ever imagined.
“Fear is not knowing what’s going to happen next.” - Billy Kemper
“I thought I knew what fear was, I thought I knew what being scared is. But I truly didn’t.” - Billy Kemper
“He was broken, really broken, physically, mentally, emotionally.” - Tahiti Kemper
Now safely back in the United States, Billy Kemper reunites with his family and prepares for a major surgery on his knee. As he gears up for the potentially career-saving procedure, he looks back at his family history and the tragic losses that made him into the relentless competitor and survivor he is today.
“This was one of those moments where I wasn’t certain if I was going to surf again.” – Billy Kemper
“It’s a mentality of not giving up and fighting for what I love and fighting for who I love. That’s what my mom gave me. That’s what my brother Eric showed me.” “He was a fighter. He was a warrior. And that’s something I took from him.” - Billy Kemper
“I have to beat this injury.” - Billy Kemper
Following major knee and pelvis surgery, Billy Kemper begins an intense physical training regimen to get back to surfing. Leaving his family in Hawaii to focus on recovery in California parallels his career-defining 2017 season. That year, with his mother fighting cancer at home, Billy pushed through adversity to clinch his first Big Wave World Title.
“Understanding those small improvements were the biggest victories.” - Billy