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New documentary shares history of the North Shore's most daring lifeguards

An image from the documentary "Big Wave Guardians."
Courtesy Marty Hoffman Films
An image from the documentary "Big Wave Guardians."

Big waves, big lessons. The monster waves of Waimea and Makaha on Oʻahu make for a schooling like no other. On Tuesday, June 21, the Hawaiʻi Theatre will host the premiere of a film about how lifeguarding came to be.

The film's producers hope that Hawaiʻi lifeguards will turn out for the screening of “Big Wave Guardians: First Responders of the Sea." Modern-day ocean safety has its humble roots with Hawaiʻi wave riders — surfers whose skills and innovations helped shape the life-saving tools that pioneered rescues.

Jim Kempton was a writer for the film. He learned to surf in the reefy breaks of Guam and went on to become editor and publisher of Surf Magazine. He currently heads the California Surf Museum. He spoke to The Conversation about the upcoming documentary film.

Screenings are scheduled across the islands and throughout the country over the next couple of months. This interview aired on The Conversation on June 20, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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