Just last night Australian surfer Mark Visser made other big wave riders look like they could step up their game, challenging giant waves in inky black darkness. With a custom-built lighted surfboard and floatation vest, Visser was towed into the famous Maui surf at 2am and professionally rode the 15 foot breaking wave. The spectacle is all part of a film he is currently making called 9 Lives. You can find out more on his website at markvisser.com
Mark Visser’s 2010 Promotional Video
Press Release: Big Wave Surfer Mark Visser Makes History
“30-40 foot waves ridden in complete darkness are the first in a series of “world first” achievements
Jaws, MAUI (January 20, 2011)—This morning at 2:00am local Hawaii time, professional big wave surfer Mark Visser made history by achieving a night ride on waves measuring 30-40 foot faces off the shores of Maui with specially engineered LED lights built into a buoyancy vest and modified into the surfboard. The lighting technologies were created especially for the project by Solus Corporation using ground breaking NASA submarine lighting to ensure the wave and board were lit in the right places, at the right time and illuminated the wave without hindering the vision of Visser, the jet ski drivers and the helicopter pilots.
A true world first – no one has attempted to ride and capture big waves at Jaws, Maui before in total darkness quite like this. With the help of his team overhead in a helicopter, Visser was towed in by jet-ski as he entered the infamous big wave break just prior to the peak of the swell, completely illuminated.
“It wasn’t until I saw the pictures I realized how big it was. This project has been two years in the planning and it was the scariest, but most exciting thing I have ever done,” says Visser. “Riding in complete darkness meant I had to go off feeling. I had to zone out from how you normally ride and just be part of the wave. I am so pumped to achieve something that no one thought possible and that I was told was couldn’t be done.”
Coined “The Night Rider,” this feat is set to be the first of a series for Visser. These “world first” extreme adventures will form a documentary collective called “9 Lives” that will be distributed internationally in late 2011, early 2012.
The 28-year-old Australian native is an extreme adventurer athlete and is pushing the limits of what he can do. He has a burning desire to not settle for the norm, a self-described ‘outright passion to push himself’. Visser has dedicated training programs to give him the skills to be able to chase his dreams and do things that most people thought were impossible. He wants to inspire others by showing that anything can be achieved.
Mark Visser’s past achievements include: Top 10 in the 2006/2007 APT tow-in tour event (Chile), top10 in the Nelscott Reef Big Wave Paddle In event (USA) and runner up in the 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 Oakley ASL Big Wave Awards. Visser also had several waves entered into the XXL awards for biggest wave ridden in only his first year of big wave competition
Continue to follow Mark Visser to find out more about the series of events for the documentary at markvisser.net“