Wave Runner

“Luke needed his good, stable job. He was 27 years old, with two small children. His girlfriend, Natalia, was already working three gigs. But no matter how much they hustled, rent always seemed to be due, groceries got pricier, the gas tank needed filling, and the medical bills piled up. He couldn’t be late. Not today. His family was with him, so Luke made a split-second decision. He kissed Natalia and told her to take the wheel. Said bye to their kids in the back seat. Then he hopped out and took off running for Waimea.” Luke didn’t miss his shift as a lifeguard on one of the busiest and most dangerous days of the year. He also didn’t miss his turn to compete. GQ: Casual Luke Rides the Big Wave. “Earlier this year, a North Shore local named Luke Shepardson paddled out during his break and won the most prestigious big-wave competition on the planet, beating some of surfing’s brightest stars.”

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