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Surfing rides the crest of a wave as Olympic Channel documentary Shredding Monsters enjoys high-profile premiere

02 Jun 2017
Olympic Channel, Olympic News
‘Shredding Monsters’, a documentary film about the exhilarating, adrenaline-fuelled world of big wave surfing, has premiered at the 2017 ISA World Surfing Games.

Rather than the traditional red carpet being laid out to greet the guests though, guests at the Municipal Casino Theatre in Biarritz were welcomed onto a surf-themed blue-carpet.

The 44-minute documentary has been produced by the IOC’s Olympic Channel. It coincides with the recent acceptance of surfing into the Olympic fold, with the sport set to make its debut in Tokyo in 2020.‘

Shredding Monsters follows a group of friends as they descend on the Portuguese fishing village of Nazaré to surf what they expect to be the biggest swell of the year. The story is told through the eyes of five surfers who push their personal, physical and mental limits in their pursuit of the greatest waves on the globe, with remarkable results.

One of the stars of the film is 49-year-old Garrett McNamara, from Massachusetts in the USA, who is one of the most famous names in the surfing world. McNamara is well acquainted with Nazaré as it was here that he twice broke the world record for the largest wave ever surfed, in 2011 and again in 2013. The American superstar is also famed for surviving incredible waves at Jaws, Hawaii and for riding tsunami waves. For him the appeal of surfing is simple: “You feel part of something much greater when you’re on a giant wave, but you also feel so insignificant,” he said at the premiere.

Another of the film’s protagonists is Australian, Jamie Mitchell. The 40 year-old is another galactico of the surfing world, who made history at the end of last year by winning the World Surf League Big Wave Nazaré Challenge at Praia do Norte in Portugal, taking on a ten metre wave to claim the title. The attraction for Mitchell of big wave surfing is the challenge of taking things to the absolute limit- and beyond. “It’s the extreme of the extreme,” he explained. “What we do as big wave surfers is as crazy as it gets.”

His fellow Shredding Monsters star Hugo Vau is a fisherman who spends his life taking on and conquering some of the world’s biggest waves. “Catching a monster wave is a unique feeling in life,” enthuses the 39 year-old. “You really feel alive. It’s seconds that stay in your mind forever.”

The documentary is available now exclusively on the Olympic Channel mobile app and at

Sonia Compagnon
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