While filming the upcoming remake of the 1991 surf movie “Point Break,” Ian Walsh surfed some of the biggest waves ever seen at Maui’s Jaws. In the footage above Walsh is wearing the full-length wetsuit, which was needed for the shoot. Walsh, 30, is one of the leading big-wave surfers in the world and grew up on Maui near Jaws. GrindTV caught up with Walsh recently to see what's it like to surf giant waves while a major Hollywood production is underway.
The day you were doing stunt work for “Point Break 2,” would you have been out there otherwise?
I would have went out for a sniff, regardless of the movie. Just the way the buoys were reading, we hadn't seen a swell like that in so long, so I wanted to go out and have a look at what the ocean was doing. Then we would have made a call out there depending on what the wind was doing.
And what was happening out there?
That day was heavy. I saw some of the biggest waves I have seen at Jaws. It was so raw and powerful with how fast the swell built. It was compressing and condensing into one big heavy section. You could feel the power—it was like riding a super sucky barrel where you could sense the momentum and speed that was coming from behind you. It was just shoveling down the line super fast.
There must have been a lot going on, between massive slabs and a Hollywood movie.
It just happened that it all came together with this swell and storm, because they needed surfing and some stormy shots, which followed the surf window once the wind went straight onshore. But there was a lot going on with the production. There were guys repelling out of helicopters and then once the storm actually hit, with the crazy wind that came, they started doing a heli chase scene with boats and all sorts. It was all run by the second unit producer Phil Boston, and he pulled off a quite a show over those two days. They wanted big waves and storm stuff and he nailed it.
Were any of the actors over there taking it in?
Nah, they sent the lead for Bodhi a few photos from the day saying, "Here you go, this is you surfing today." But it worked for us; we were just surfing while the waves were good and then as soon as the storm hit they were jumping out of helis and chasing boats and just doing the general Hollywood deal.
Worth the day rate then?
Well yeah, but once the wind hit after the swell had made its initial punch that was some of the heaviest seas I have ever been involved in. When we were going home it was 30 knots direct onshore with these huge seas, so the swells were capping. The current was crazy and we were just like a cork in the ocean on the Jet Ski. It was wild.
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