“John’s the greatest surf instructor.
I couldn’t have done it without him.”
Writer/director John Stockwell initially hired me to evaluate actress Kate Bosworth’s capacity to play a surfer in the upcoming feature “BLUE CRUSH”, produced by Brian Grazer. Both these filmakers surf and wanted the lead actress in their all-girl surf movie to bring a reality to the role that only physical experience could provide.
As an actor, I had performed my own surfing for the roles of Turtle in the surf film “THE NORTH SHORE,” and again as a surfer/bank robber in the film “POINT BREAK.” I knew the situations the film would put its lead actress in and the skills she’d need to look authentic.
As an insured surf instructor for Kanoa aquatics, I stress safety first. We’d start our sessions observing the spot we intended to surf. I explained the basic concept of self-preservation (protect your head) and some rudimentary surfing skills, but the ocean is the real teacher.
Kate is a natural athlete and her effort and enthusiasm accelerated her learning curve far beyond my expectations. I would call the film’s line producer Rick Delago each day with a progress report, but I knew Kate could do what was necessary by the end of our first lesson.
After 3 weeks and over 30 hours in the water, they offered her the lead role in the film. She would go to Hawaii and continue her training with legendary watermen Brian Keaulana and Brock Little.
Kate continued to show up and suit up and practice the drills she’d take to her next level of training on Oahu’s North Shore. When I went to visit her on the set in Hawaii, two months after learning to surf the gentle waves of Malibu, I saw footage of her stroking boldly into the lineup of 10 foot Pipeline … insane, unreal, impossible. These same waves crushed the very best professional male surfers in competition, but there she was, undeniably Kate, looking as strong and focused as the powerful surf exploding