* All Photos are courtesy of Red Bull
Any water sport fan growing up at some point over the last four decades has probably heard of Robby Naish. Even if you weren’t into those sports, his name probably rings a bell. Naish is often mentioned alongside other greats in the industry like Laird Hamilton and Gerry Lopez.
Robby Naish is a water sports pioneer. He took once low-key sports like windsurfing, kiteboarding and paddleboarding and brought them to the forefront of the global sports community. Doing so, made him legendary.
Surfing the Longest, Not the Biggest Wave
Bursting onto the scene in 1976, Robby Naish won his first windsurfing event in the Bahamas at the young age of 13. Since then he has earned himself 24 World Championship Windsurfing titles and 150 wins in a variety of other sports. Now at the age of 58 Robby Naish is back at it again, this time in a new film on Red Bull TV where he is on a quest to master the world’s longest wave.
When it comes to surfing, you often hear of surfers trying to surf the biggest wave. Naish, however, has always been one to buck the trend and this documentary is no different. To tell this story, Oscar-nominated filmmaker, Joe Berlinger traveled the globe with Naish on his pursuit of the longest wave.
There is More to The Longest Wave Than Just Surfing
This film, however, is more than meets the eye. The movie goes beyond Naish’s drive to surf the longest wave, diving into his personal life and revealing his trials as a husband and father. There is also the unexpected hip injury along the way. This daunting injury suffered only weeks before his attempt at surfing the wave adds another twist to the drama of the documentary.
By unpacking aspects of Naish’s life including his financial issues, divorce and injury, The Longest Wave is a well crafted tale of the difficulties high level athletes have with balancing being the best at their craft and a life at home.
For Naish, it is a personal story of drive, dedication, athletic conquest and self realization. Throughout his chase, Naish’s tale touches upon universal themes that everyone can relate to, the struggle to strike a balance living a normal life without losing one’s competitive nature over time. It is a rare glimpse into what motivates an athlete who has everything to lose, to push his body and mind to the limit in search of one last shot at glory, surfing The Longest Wave.
Rich Stoner is the founder of the après-ski lifestyle clothing and media brand, All About Après. No stranger to the ski and après-ski scene, Rich has been a long time contributor for many publications on topics like skiing, gear, beer and food. However, his passion is on the slopes and enjoying good times with good people. You can find him perfecting his craft carving turns and drinking beers in the Green Mountains of Vermont. @allaboutapres