Prepare for some of the biggest waves and highest-performance surfing ever captured on film. Monster Energy invites TV audiences to experience the state of the art in progressive Big Wave Surfing in a new 60-minute feature showcasing the talents of the world’s best riders. Produced and directed by Paul Taublieb of Taublieb Films, a multi Emmy award-winning studio, The Monster Energy Big Wave Tow-in Invitational captures the action of an expression session on above 40-foot waves on the legendary North Shore of Oahu.
The Monster Energy Big Wave Tow-in Invitational will air on ABC television as part of World of X Games this Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 2:00 PM Eastern, 1:00 PM Pacific and 10:00 AM Hawaiian time. The spectacular feature covers all angles of the action on Hawaii’s North Shore via advanced RED high-definition cameras, including helicopter shots in partnership with cutting-edge surf forecaster Surfline, and Hawaii-based Paradise Helicopters.
Known for progression and supporting its athletes, Monster Energy hosted the invite-only Big Wave Surfing session at a rarely surfed spot in Hawaii on March 18, 2019. The list of invited surfers included Monster Energy’s Shane Dorian and Makua Rothman, joined by their big wave surfing peers Kai Lenny, Nathan Florence and Billy Kemper. They were given the rare chance to catch 40-foot waves at an insider spot known as Puena Point.
With the goal of taking surfing to the next level, riders were “towing in” behind jet skis – as opposed to relying solely on paddling – for access to some of the most progressive and innovative big wave riding the world has seen to date. The extra boost from jet skis allows riders to catch waves otherwise not surfable with just surfboards. Highlights included a wave never surfed in a tow-in session before, known as the “toilet bowl” at Ali'i Beach Park that provided the backdrop for aerials, hacks, turns, and tube rides on an entirely new level.
“Tow-in starts when it’s not right to paddle in. The Monster Invitational is an experiment in some solid, big surf to explore the limits of performance – and having fun!” said Monster Energy’s Rothman, a two-time Big Wave World Champion and North Shore native. His Monster Energy teammate and Big Wave legend Dorian is on the same page: “I haven’t towed-in to waves in a decade, but this was an experiment in progression. Super fun, creative and experimental,” said the multiple XXL Big Wave Winner.
With The Monster Energy Big Wave Tow-in Invitational, director Taublieb wants to provide a platform for the sport’s next evolution. “We are not trying to replace paddle-in surfing but push the boundaries of big wave progression in a way that hasn’t been explored,” said Taublieb.
Having already captured some of the most iconic big wave surfers on film, Taublieb’s documentary credits include the Emmy Award-winning ESPN 30 for 30 film Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau (2013), the Big Wave Hellmen series for ABC and ESPN (2014), and a number of critically acclaimed action sports television features.
As the official partner for wave forecasting, Surfline provided riders with constant updates on current wave conditions during the boundary-pushing shoot. But as Rothman pointed out after the session: “The ocean always has the last word! I got in some great turns, not to mention a wipeout and a nasty two-wave beatdown.”
Nevertheless, all surfers are stoked on the results and the opportunity to take Big Wave Surfing to the limit. “On certain days, when it’s too big or too rough to paddle, tow-in definitely has its place in our world. It's not exactly surfing – it's almost a different sport, but it was a blast! Thanks to everyone for making it happen and let’s do it again!” said Dorian. After seeing a screener of the finished show, Rothman said: “Every surfer is going to love this show, it’s all about progression and performance!”
Ready for a sneak peek of the action before the world premiere this weekend? Catch the cinematic trailer here and make sure to tune in to ABC television this Saturday, May 18, 2019 when The Monster Energy Big Wave Tow-in Invitational airs as part of World of X Games at 2:00 PM Eastern, 1:00 PM Pacific and 10:00 AM Hawaiian time.