Hailing from Maui, Kemper spent his childhood looking up to the greatest Hawaiian waterman generations before him. At only 30 years young, the 4-time Pe’ahi Challenge Champion has etched his name among the best big wave surfers of all time.
It’s not just Billy Kemper’s surfing that people admire him for, but also his capacity to stand up in the face of adversity. Having dealt with several traumatic events over the course of his career, Billy has still secured victories in several WQS events at Sunset Beach, won multiple XXL Ride of the Year awards, became the Big Wave Tour World Champion, and dominated the lineup at Jaws, among other accolades.
His biggest challenge, however, came in physical form in February 2020. During a strike mission to the fabled right point breaks of Morocco, Billy endured a near-fatal wipeout on a wave of consequence. While setting up for a barrel, he was pitched off his board, went over the falls, and was knocked unconscious. The ensuing drubbing resulted in a broken pelvis, a collapsed lung, cracked ribs, and a knee that needed to be reconstructed.
Only a year removed from that horrible day along the African coast and he’s already back in the water surfing as strong as ever.