Koa Smith 8 barrel ride, Two minutes, eight barrels.

To say Koa Smith was at the right place at the right time is perfectly accurate.

To say he got lucky – that’s missing the point.

Perched precariously on his surfboard, the 23-year-old from Hawaii rode a wave off the coast of Namibia, on the western shore of Africa, for 120 straight seconds. He stayed upright for nearly a mile (1.6 kilometers) as he traveled through an unheard-of eight barrels – the hollow formed by the curve of the wave as it breaks over the rider’s head.

Almost as amazing, Smith and videographer Chris Rogers filmed the entire ride using both a drone that hovered overhead, and a GoPro attached to a mouthpiece that Smith wore while he rode.

“I’d like to think that everything I’ve done my whole life led up to that moment,” Smith said of his masterpiece over a one-of-a-kind wave last month, the likes of which has never been documented before.

Smith owes his success to being every bit as much a calculated scientist as a devil-may-care risktaker.


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