Watch: Billy Kemper's Journey Back to Surfing – Sail+Leisure
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Watch: Billy Kemper’s Journey Back to Surfing

by Ingrid Hale
Billy Kemper surfing

Immerse yourself in the adrenaline-pumping world of Big Wave surfing and meet one of the sport’s largest figures, Hawaii’s own Billy Kemper.

Billy was on a roll in both his surfing career, and in his life with a lovely wife and 4 kids. Having won many of surfing’s great competitions to date, he was on top of his game in every way, and he felt invincible. When the call came to surf a once in a lifetime wave in Morocco, he jumped at it.

Follow Billy as he joins up with fellow pro surfers Koa Smith and Luke Davis and heads for Morocco on a strike mission that will alter his life forever.

After suffering a life-threatening fall, 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. Friends at the WSL stepped in to move the mountains created by the pandemic. After a harrowing 6,000-mile emergency flight from Morocco to California, Billy Kemper touches down in Los Angeles and is finally reunited with his family and loved ones. But this only marks the end of a life-threatening journey, and the start of the long road to recovery.




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