For the Dream (2022) Movie Script

Hawaii, the place
that makes you or breaks you
as a professional surfer.
They say if you can
make it here, you've made it.
Professional surfing is one
of the most cut throat
and elite sports in the world.
Competitive surfers often gruel
through a 40 contest year
and dedicate every aspect
of their lives
to try to make it as a top pro.
Thirty four male surfers
qualify for the
world championship tour.
A dream tour
with rock star treatment
and massive paydays
for winning events.
But at the end of the year,
only one surfer
is named world champion.
This is a goal
that very few humans
in history
will ever accomplish,
but one of the only ways
to truly make it
in professional surfing.
if you're not on top,
your sponsor could drop you
after one bad year.
Many surf careers
have sadly ended
at the hand of a corporation.
Now, this is just the reality
for most surfers,
but not all of them.
Let me introduce you
to my friend Ben Gravy.
Now, this might come
as a shock,
but Ben isn't from Hawaii,
and Ben doesn't surf
on the world tour.
Ben Gravy is showing
the entire surfing world
that there's another way
to do it.
Ben has proved to everyone,
surfer and non-surfer alike,
that you don't have to settle
in life.
Ben has proved that you can
live your life for the dream.
All right, so we're heading
down to the campsite now.
We don't know if these guys
are awake or asleep.
We just drove 46 hours straight.
So, we're completely delusional.
Literally in the middle
of nowhere.
Nope, nothing.
All right?
Here's the situation on my end.
I have no idea where I am.
And I brought every board
in my quiver.
-So, right there is the wave.
It's a little smaller
than last time we surfed it,
but I think you'll get
a couple for sure.
Seriously, dude.
Where's the wave?
Where is it?
All right, we made it down
to the bank of the river,
forty-six hours in the car
and it was all worth it.
I'm about to paddle out
for my first wave.
Forty-six hours to get here.
We just river surfed
the biggest wave
in the United States
for two days straight.
My uncle was here.
My favorite uncle,
Jamie O'Brien.
-Yeah, brother! Yee-haw!
He was slashing
and we smashed it.
And we're getting on the road,
so we'll see you next time.
-For the dream.
-Bye, guys.
See, I grew up
at the beach,
so we would always come
to the beach,
and Rob's dad had a house
at the beach.
So, we would always come down.
And then it got to a point
where he just started
to love the ocean.
One of our friends
gave Rob a surfboard
for Ben to try, and he loved it.
Probably when he was,
like, seven or eight
is when he started,
like, actually carrying
a surfboard to the beach
to surf.
So he got into it real young.
I mean,
was already surfing contests
by the time he was nine or ten.
The other kids
would go out 15 minutes.
Three hours later, you're like,
"Ben, you gotta
get out of the water."
We gotta get more sun block on.
We gotta... You gotta
have something to eat.
You gotta drink.
All the time was me
with his video camera
in the water for hours,
just filming him surf.
When I was like 13, 14,
I won, like, a bunch
of ESA and NSSA contests.
I won, like,
a bunch of regional contests.
And then when I was 14,
I got sponsored by Billabong,
and I won the East Coast
Championship that same year.
And it was right when I was
coming out of eighth grade.
And my parents
were kind of like,
"Is this what you want to do?"
And I was like, "Yeah."
My dad calls what we do
The Truman Show.
Because literally
our entire lives
are basically recorded
on either a tape
or a digital format,
in some way.
So, Ben got a video camera
for Christmas,
I think,
when he was eight years old.
Ever since,
he basically has walked around
with a video camera
in his hands,
recording daily life.
Everything that
we've been doing
since we were super,
super young.
He and his friend Michael
used to just
go around the house
and make movies about mummies.
All kinds of crazy stuff,
filming everything.
And we would always try
and find ways to, you know,
get a reaction
or make a video
that was unique.
And it started off just,
like, skateboarding,
throwing rocks at each other.
It kind of evolved into
crazy stuff on our skateboards.
Crazy stuff on our surfboards,
you know,
jumping off of our roof.
Or there was this one video
of our oldest brother, Hob,
going out the window,
like, the third story window
with a hose attached.
We didn't have access to,
like, television or computers,
so it was kind of always like
go find something
to entertain yourself.
Which is kinda weird
because we had video cameras,
but we never watched TV.
Thank you.
I'll be here all week.
That was created
when Ben was, like, ten.
And it originally stood for
Nobody's Unlike Buddy.
The meaning behind that
was kinda like,
everyone's accepted
in our group
because we weren't
really ever cool.
We were kind of just,
like, nonconformist.
Doing what we like doing.
It wasn't really about,
like, impressing anyone.
And we saw, like,
a lot of other people that,
you know,
either got picked on
or were outcasts
who would kinda fit in
well with us because, you know,
anything goes.
Everyone's importance
is the same.
And I think we figured that out
at a really early age.
He would invite
his friends to come surfing.
And it was such
an all-inclusive activity,
because anybody could get
out there and paddle around.
And he motivated some of
his friends, like Paul Venesz,
to get out there
and feel good about surfing
and know that he could have
the confidence to do it.
If we were all out surfing
and I was paddling
for something,
and it looked like
I was gonna get it,
it didn't matter
where Ben was on the wave.
He started screaming,
"Go, go, go!"
Ben wasn't worried
if it was his wave
because he was closer
to the peak
or any of that.
If he saw that I was gonna
be able to catch it,
he just wanted me to catch it.
Just to see me experience it
and enjoy it.
Ben was always more like
I would say the underdog.
But when he started surfing,
he pretty much became
a really good surfer
very quickly.
But he would always
sort of gravitate
toward the kids
that couldn't surf as well
to hang out with and,
like, motivate them.
He wasn't really
one of the guys
that always hung out
with the top tier.
And, I mean, he traveled
on the circuit as he got older.
But in his free time,
he hung out with the Nub crew.
Which were just kids
from the neighborhood
that surfed casually.
For him, it was always fun.
Shoot, I've known Ben since
I was 13, probably, or 14.
We were doing
the Eastern Surfing Association
contest together,
so I'd see him at regionals
and see him at Easterns.
I feel like
becoming a professional surfer
and growing up
on the East Coast
is, like, such a difficult
thing to do.
It's just hard
because you're out
of the limelight of surfing.
You know, the limelight
is California, Hawaii,
and the East Coast is just
kinda like shed to the side.
Here, you have to, like,
get through the ranks
and make it
to those national competitions
to even get noticed.
Surfing is very small.
You have 30 some guys
on the world tour in the QS
and then free surfers.
And the numbers just
aren't really in your favor
to make that your career.
So, he had
the Hi8 camera.
That's what he was filming on.
And then he got,
like, a double VCR.
He would record
the whole Hi8 tape
on the one VHS tape,
and then he would
pick pieces from that
out of that VHS
and record them
onto another VHS tape.
And he somehow had a stereo
hooked up with a cord,
so you could play music
over the bits.
It was just, like, so bizarre.
But it worked.
And then you could copy that
and make a second copy.
Then computers came out.
We started burning DVDs.
And I think Ben went through,
like, three computers
where he broke the DVD burner
because he was burning
so many DVDs
trying to get our content out.
I don't know. We didn't really
have anything to compare it to.
We were just creating.
And we were all doing, like,
stunts, and it evolved further.
Well, we started
doing stunts when I was a kid.
But, obviously,
as time went on,
the stunts got way crazier.
And it seems like the more that
YouTube came into the picture,
it played a big role,
because the more views
we would get for stunts,
the crazier we would want to go.
You know, I didn't know Ben
when we were younger,
but I saw that, you know,
we obviously
traveled together surfing,
and saw he was building
this career.
And then I do remember,
all of a sudden,
he was getting
more focused into,
like, the stunt side of things.
Doing some pretty wild stuff.
And I started to correlate,
like, that with less surfing
and less surf attention,
and I was, like,
kinda bummed for him
because I saw
he had something in surfing.
And then I was watching it
kinda slip away.
So that was a concern.
And then, as they got older,
that continued.
Then it was like,
"Oh, we'll do a car jump."
And so they're prompting
all this stuff.
And along with that,
they are getting older,
and they're drinking more.
I wanna drink beer
I wanna drink beer
I wanna drink beer
I'm gonna drink beer...
So, for, like
eight or ten years
with three sons doing
the same thing, it was hell.
So, was I concerned?
Yeah, I was really concerned.
At that time,
I had multiple of his friends
sleeping on my couch,
peeing on my couch.
Sometimes they would
be sleeping in my shed
or in my yard when I woke up.
Or under the house,
in my crawlspace.
And, like, one time,
Ben literally came in,
punched a picture
and just shattered it
right in front of me
because he was just so angry.
He did it to the front door.
I just... I felt like he was
spiraling out of control.
Being around
your friends all day,
being a young kid
who's reckless,
you know, that alcohol
gives you that liquid courage.
And I'm sure he got that high
from being able
to pull these stunts
and do these things.
But the alcohol definitely
helped him feel like
he can do anything.
-Sad for you right now.
Why do you think that?
-She's kinda dramatic.
-Ben has a drinking problem.
I was writing for
a company called Alliance,
and I remember
the guy called me,
the team manager
and he was like, "We're done."
And I remember
that hitting me and being like,
"Oh, like, I'm not gonna
be a pro surfer."
You were either
super gnarly at 18,
and you were making
the world tour
or winning pro juniors,
or in the magazines.
-I was none of those things.
I was partying in New Jersey
and just lost my sponsor.
-Aw, yeah!
-I broke my leg.
Fuck! Fuck!
I broke my leg!
I woke up probably,
like, at 9:00.
And, instantly,
as I get dressed,
walk outside,
and I see the car go,
and all that happened.
And I just hear him.
Yeah, like,
"Fuck, I broke my leg!"
-Yeah, I did, dude.
-No, you didn't.
-Fuck, yeah, I did!
-Chill, chill, chill.
My knee! My fucking knee, dude!
Fuck, yeah, dude!
It was completely
out of place, dude.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
You're not good.
-You're not good. Chill, dude.
-Fuck you! Fuck you!
-No, no, no. Ben, Ben, Ben.
-Chill, dude. Chill.
What do you mean, I'm not good?
-No, Ben.
-I'm fine.
-No, Ben.
-I can feel my leg.
I don't even want to do
this shit anymore though, dude!
It's not worth it, dude.
I had no idea
what was going on.
'Cause, like, you have
that moment of, like,
"There's no way I'm this hurt."
"There's no way...
This can't be real."
It was the worst pain
I've ever been in.
After that, I went into
my brother's house
and I literally just
was drinking.
And I was just
getting drunk like,
"Oh, I'm in
so much fucking pain.
"I gotta drink."
I got drunk, went to sleep.
I like an idiot said, "Don't go
to the emergency room,
"because all they're gonna
do there
"is they're gonna take an X-ay
and give you pain medicine.
"Let's just go to the
orthopedic doctor on Monday."
But they were downplaying
how bad it was.
Apparently, his knee was like
the size of a camera.
Are you seeing that, dude?
That ain't right, dude.
We went
to Ciccotti's office.
He looked at me and said,
"What would ever make you think
"that you wouldn't take your son
to the emergency room?
"What is wrong with you?"
He said, "This kid...
"I think this kid's
gonna lose his leg."
Oh, my gosh.
In the doctor's office
at the Rothman Institute
in Philly.
My knee is killing me,
since I haven't taken any Advil
since last night,
like seven o'clock or something.
And I'm just waiting
for the doctor right now.
I got some X-rays.
And I'm pretty much just
in severe pain.
So, looking
at the footage
and seeing how dramatic
the injury was,
and then looking at his knee,
which was quite swollen,
um, that is a serious injury
that needs to be addressed
within hours.
And, if not,
there is a high risk of athletes
losing not only function,
but in some
very tragic situations,
losing their limb.
We went out
into the hospital
to get, like, the MRI,
and they prepped me
for surgery.
I remember they were
doing the IV,
they were getting me ready.
And the doctor says
pretty much point blank to me,
"You might lose your leg today,
"and you will definitely
never surf again."
And that moment
changed my entire life.
Well, I just was
in the ER for seven hours,
getting tests
on my blood vessels in my legs
to make sure
that they worked properly.
I am thanking God right now.
I can't even believe
how happy I am.
I have three tears in my knee.
Um, I need surgery.
But, oh, my God,
the vessel test is huge for me.
My sense was that
the main ligaments in his knee,
they were okay.
But I had great concern
for what we call
the extensor mechanism.
And that's a series
of structures
that allow us
to actually extend our leg.
And that's why we ended up
getting the MRI,
which did in fact confirm
that he had a complete tear
or rupture
of his patellar tendon.
And I was saying,
"Could it be a meniscus tear?"
"Could it be this?
Could it be that?"
He said, "I think
it's a patellar tendon tear,"
and I'm like, "What's worse?"
He said, "Patellar tendon tear."
It's, like, really one of
the worst injuries you can have.
I would say
that Ben's accident,
um, above all else,
was a big wake up call.
And it allowed him to realize
and to appreciate things
that he didn't before,
which included surfing.
And, like, the fact that
the doctor said
he may never surf again,
really, I think, it scared him
'cause you're gonna lose
the most important thing
in your life.
7:00 a.m.
March 6th, 2015, we're at
the Jefferson Surgical Center.
I'm going in to get
my patellar tendon repaired.
Hopefully, everything's good.
I'm waiting for the doctor.
They're gonna give me
a nerve block
and put my leg to sleep.
Put me to sleep.
Repair my...
patellar tendon.
I'm a little nervous.
I've never had
surgery like this.
But that moment kind of brought
everything full circle to me.
I was like,
"Wow, I'm a really lucky person,
"and I'm kind of just taking
everything for granted.
"And now I might
never walk again.
"So I blew it.
I ruined my life."
I get surgery. It's a success.
I'm good.
They're like,
"18 months recovery."
So, that's heavy. Heavy.
I didn't walk
for 40 days after that.
Surfers really
depend upon
that part of their knee joint.
And to be able to do it
at his level,
ten, maybe 20% chance.
Okay, it's officially
been 12 days since my surgery.
We are getting
in the car right now
to go
to my follow up appointment
to see how everything
is progressing,
get my stitches out.
And I just can't wait
till I can walk
on this thing again. It's gonna
be the best day of my life.
You're gonna witness
a complete and total rebirth.
I was like, "I can't surf.
"I can't do stunts.
I can't walk around.
"I can't do anything exciting.
"But I'm gonna document it
to occupy myself
"and share my experience
with people
"and let them know
what's going on."
So for the first time ever,
I was open,
I was telling the truth.
I was like, "I'm injured.
"I might never be able to do
what I want to do again.
"But this is my life now."
Like, that was the first time
that I was allowing people
to see me.
Like, the real me.
So, that was a powerful thing
for me,
to break down that barrier.
'Cause I really...
There is nothing I cared
about at that point,
except for getting better.
So I allowed all of my...
I allowed everything
that I thought in life.
Like, all these perceptions
of me,
anything that I thought
would, like, make me cool.
Any of that stuff. That weird
like, external validation.
I let go of it because
the most important thing for me
was just to be healthy.
And, like, when you
get down that low,
you realize that every minute
that you have
as a healthy human being
is a gift.
Yesterday, I went to the doctor
in King of Prussia
for my second
post operation checkup.
And, uh, he told me I could
ditch my crutches and walk.
I crutched out of there,
but I got home
and I decided to give it a try
and It was actually
a lot easier than I thought.
So, here I am.
He had a script
for physical therapy.
And Ben knew in his head
he was going to do everything
he had to do to get better.
And the doctor told him,
"It's up to you.
"You have to be determined
and do what you need to do."
"We're gonna provide you
with all of the rehab
"that you need.
"Um, but we have to navigate
through the psychological
"and the emotional aspects
of this, too.
"And that that is going
to be a challenge."
But if you have an athlete
that is so highly motivated,
and fearless,
and enthusiastic, like Ben,
uh, those are the things
you can't teach people.
Those are the things
that come in the person.
And those are the intangibles
that make that patient
who is an athlete,
ultimately successful.
He would
do the exercises,
he would push himself.
He would come home
and do the exercises.
And even Dr. Ciccotti was like,
"I can't believe it, Ben,
"but you actually
have come so far."
But he also was vlogging
and getting a lot of responses
from people
that were going through
similar experiences
with injuries.
And, you know, the fact
that he did go through,
that was an example for a lot
of people that,
"I can do it, too."
'Cause supposedly
a patellar tendon tear
is one of the most
painful injuries ever.
And it's a long road to haul.
But it just goes to show you
Ben's determination
as a human being.
That, "This is what I want,
because surfing is my life.
"And if I lose this,
then I don't know
"what I'm gonna do."
I just kept going,
kept working at it.
And it was just
questions of like,
"Am I gonna be able
to come back?
"Am I gonna be able
to do this?"
And I just worked as hard
as I possibly could.
And I just remember, like,
the day the doctor was like,
"You're good."
So, uh, midway through week ten,
walking pretty good.
Still limping, obviously.
And, uh, we're gonna grill
some burgers in the backyard,
have a couple beers
to celebrate.
And, uh, life is good. Honestly.
That's all I can really say.
I was walking again in,
like, August, I think,
or September.
And I started drinking again.
And over that two months,
was just the gnarliest
emotional mental
downhill spiral.
'Cause I had this moment
of elation
and I was like,
"I fixed myself."
You know, I gave myself,
like, a pat on the back.
Let's celebrate,
you know, it's time.
And that's just
the alcoholism in me,
just being like, "This is...
You know, you did it.
"Good job. Have a beer.
"You know, like,
that's what you want."
I got to a point
when I realized
that that's all that I did.
I had already let surfing slip.
I was letting, like, my passion
for video and film slip
and I was accepting that life.
I was accepting just dismal,
horrible existence
where I hated myself.
I'm about to go to this bar.
'Cause why wouldn't I?
When somebody
has reached that threshold
and they have become
physically dependent on it,
it affects your liver enzymes,
it affects your kidneys,
it affects
your basic functioning
in that aspect, physically.
It mostly affects the brain.
The brain becomes
dependent on it chemically.
For those neurons
and endorphins.
Your brain relies
on the substance
to balance itself out.
I end up at Maynard's,
Christmas Eve,
with my younger brother
and I was wasted.
And I got in some
ridiculous argument
with the bartender over nothing.
And she kicked me out.
And I remember I was like,
"Good, fuck you!
"I'm never coming back."
And I woke up the next morning,
and I was like,
"That's the person
that I'm gonna be?
"I'm gonna be that dude
"that gets in the fight
with a bartender."
And I remember the term
that I thought to myself.
I was like, "That's not me."
And I remember, I actually got
a 30 pack for Christmas
from one of my friends,
and I never touched it.
I gave it away.
And I woke up Christmas morning
and that was it.
I was done.
Every decision we make,
big or small, can affect
the rest of our lives.
For Ben,
the choice to quit drinking
was something he felt
he needed for himself.
But little did he know
that making that commitment
would have far greater effects
than he could
have ever imagined.
All right.
Here we go, people.
The time has come.
Been in Florida
for about three hours.
And, uh, we're going surfing.
It's game on.
I got a big ass funboard
that I'm riding.
We're doing it.
I'm stoked right now.
A week into doing my vlogs,
I decided to go down to Florida
and I was gonna surf
for the first time.
I had gotten cleared.
I was allowed to surf
on January 14th.
This is it, people.
We're doing it.
First time surfing. 9 months.
It's like I'm giving birth
to a new Gravy.
I went down and I paddled out
my first day on a fun shape.
And I caught, like, two waves,
and I just, like,
rode down the line.
Like on the smallest, worst,
little Florida crumbly wave,
and it was like
the best wave of my life.
It was the moment
when I was like, "I can do it.
"I'm back in the water.
"From here on out,
I will never take surfing
"for granted, ever again."
It's extremely life-changing,
of course,
because now you have
this clear mind
and you can see things
through a clearer lens.
And it helps you to be
a lot more determined,
a lot more motivated.
Um, it's not without
its challenges,
but it's definitely
more rewarding
when you set your mind to a goal
and you can achieve it
without relying
on something else.
I was planning
on going to Florida
for two weeks, and I ended up
staying down there
for four months
and just literally
just surfing every day.
And just vlogging and surfing.
All my friends
are doing heroin again
Just when I put down
the bottle
So that I could finally win
When rock 'n' roll
ain't enough to save your soul
You keep going in
And hopefully
with all these sins
You can still find a hole
to pin
I hope you find a hole to pin
I hope you find a hole to pin
And all my friends
who don't talk to me no more
Because I put down the bottle
Didn't want it anymore
When punk rock ain't enough
to be your job
You keep going in
But hopefully
with all these things
I won't need another drink
I hope I don't need
another drink
I hope I don't need
another drink
Send me away
before I go insane
Is it just me
or are people acting crazy?
When punk rock ain't enough
to be your job
You keep going home
Who would've known
That rock 'n' roll
was enough to save my soul?
I went to Sebastian Inlet
one day.
There was a wave breaking
inside the inlet
on the side that usually
people don't surf on.
And I thought it was
the coolest thing, like, ever.
It, like, lit a fire in me.
Dude, that was crazy!
So, that was, like,
close to the end of my trip.
-...who came back.
-And I came home,
I just wanted
to keep the stoke.
I went and I paddled out, like,
on the right side
of the rocks at Skeleton Bay,
and it was small.
But it's these perfect
little laps, like reeling down.
I went out and I put the camera
on the parking lot,
and I just pointed
the camera at the waves.
It was this wide shot,
and I would surf
across the screen.
And then I'd run around
and paddle out,
surf across the screen.
So, I put this video up
on my vlog channel.
And it got, like, 12,000 views
in, like, one day.
Before that, my vlogs
were getting like 400 views,
300 views, and it was just
the most random thing.
It just woke me up.
I was like, "This is it."
So, my mission
from that point on,
was to share these waves
that nobody surfs with people.
there's full blown commitment
and there's being in the zone.
But this right here,
this is something else.
Ben has found his flow.
By allowing
his new positive mindset
to take over his life,
he is now a man
that can do what he loves
without anything
holding him back.
And who would've thought,
novelty waves.
Well, looks like
they love him right back.
Oh, my God,
this is crazy!
A novelty wave is something
that's very rare
and very unique to where
it's not considered a wave
by the general public.
It's only considered a wave
by maybe even
a select few people,
or maybe one person.
And it doesn't happen
all the time,
and it takes specific things
to make it happen.
And that's why it's so special.
All right, guys,
this morning,
I think we know
what's going down.
I am driving down
to the Cape May Ferry,
and I'm going to be riding
this board right here
on the wake behind the ferry
as the ferry docks in the port.
This is something
I've never seen before.
I can't contain my excitement.
I'm freaking out.
But right now I'm gonna
sticker up my shred stick
so all my sponsors
can get some love
when this video goes viral.
In my head,
the ultimate novelty wave was
the Cape May Ferry wave.
Ancient New Jersey
surfing history.
I heard from somebody that
Dean Randazzo had surfed it.
He got arrested
by the state police.
It's like a legend thing.
So I was like,
"That's what I want to do."
I want to surf
the Cape May Ferry wave.
So, I went down there,
I knew nothing about it.
I didn't even know
if there was going to be a wave.
But I knew a ferry
was going to leave.
And I watched it leave.
Look at that.
And I just watched this
two foot left just peel
for like a minute
across the entire bank.
From that moment that I saw
that wave, I had just anxiety.
I needed to surf it.
So I convinced
my girlfriend to come down
and film me surfing
the Ferry wave.
Where is it?
Three ferries came in.
No wave, no wave, no wave,
three failures in a row.
So I'm like, "What's the point?
Like, is this even gonna work?"
I get to thinking
that maybe the boat captain
is slowing down
and shutting off the wave.
So I actually put
a disguise on.
Oh, you have to be crazy!
So, I was sitting
on the rocks,
like, with the fishing pole,
and then, like,
here comes this boat.
As I see the boat going by,
I'm like,
"Okay, the wave's gonna
form up right here."
I can tell it's going
to happen.
So I start ditching
my disguise.
Throw it on the rocks,
and I run out into the water,
I start paddling.
I actually turned around
and caught the wave.
And I got caught behind it.
The actual line,
the breaking line of the wave.
And I felt that the bottom
was really shallow.
So I picked up my board
and i started running.
And I dove back
into the wave that stood up.
I'm trying to show the world
what I can do...
And I got this 45 second
absolute dream ride,
just across the entire bank,
behind the ferry.
I'm trying to show the world
what I can do...
That was ultimate elation.
I actually cried.
In my head, that was
the moment when It was real.
That moment changed my life
because it was like,
"I fucking surf novelty waves."
His stoke
for those waves
is just who he is.
I mean, he fought so hard.
He has so much joy
and that just comes out
in excitement
over these little novelty waves,
and it's really fun.
He sees the potential in that
where everyone else
will just be like,
"Oh, that's nothing."
Who blow it off
to do something else,
and maybe even complain
that there's no waves that day,
he sees as an opportunity.
I think a lot
of the things
that Ben does in surfing
are overlooked.
Or, like, taken as more
of a joke than it should be
because, like,
he is pretty much genius
with the ideas
that he comes up with.
And a lot of the things
that he's doing,
even if they're not
on a giant scale yet,
are still things
that nobody has ever done.
So little did I know
that that video,
I put it on Instagram
when I got home
and Stab Magazine took it off
my Instagram posted on theirs.
And it went absolutely bonkers.
Every surf website,
every surf instagram account,
everything you could think of,
that wave was on.
That was the turning point
for my channel.
It shows that this is something
that people want to watch.
YouTube and Instagram wise,
that was like a huge moment
in my surfing career because,
I mean, I didn't even have
a surfing career before that.
that was just, like,
a total changing point
in everything.
All right, guys, to be
a professional novelty surfer,
there's a lot of professionalism
and skill involved.
It's not all fun and games.
Oh, wait. Yes, it is.
Once I realized
that you didn't need much swell
for a novelty wave to break,
I started thinking
that I could just go around
to, like, every inlet,
rivers, whatever,
and find just weird
novelty waves,
anything to ride.
It's funny because, like,
you would think
that real waves would make me
want to travel,
but the thing
that got me in the car,
going and searching,
is novelty waves.
Tell us about Ben's
decision to surf 50 states.
I don't even... I can't tell you
anything, 'cause I don't...
d... didn't...
It never registered, like,
what was going on to me.
The first states
that I surfed
were the states
that you would think
that somebody
would be able to surf.
Obviously, New Jersey,
which is my home state.
I surfed the surrounding areas
Maryland, Delaware.
Virginia, North Carolina.
Georgia and Florida.
Um, I took a trip up
to New England
and I surfed New York,
Rhode Island.
New Hampshire, Maine.
Even went river surfing
in Vermont.
I had previously surfed Hawaii.
And surfed in Colorado
in a river.
And I drove out to California
and then surfed California.
He's an innovator,
for sure, and surfing 50 states
is a world record.
Like, it's a Guinness book
type of thing.
It's kind of a hard thing
to wrap your head around.
Um, surfing 50 states
doesn't make sense.
People don't understand
surfing in general
and then to put 50 states
on top of that,
I think people
were completely baffled.
Like, anybody can have an idea,
but like going through with it
is totally different.
Like, a lot of people sit around
and talk about
what they're gonna do
with their lives.
But, like, to go out there
and make it happen
is totally different.
I don't care if it's a river,
a lake, a wave pool,
a bayou, the bay. It's surfing.
We're doing it,
we're riding energy.
We're riding a wave.
I was totin' my pack
along the dusty Winnemucca road
When along came a semi
With a high an' canvas
covered load
If you're goin' to Winnemucca
Mack, with me you can ride
So I climbed into the cab
and then I settled down inside
He asked me
if I'd seen a road
With so much dust and sand
And I said,
"Listen, I've seen every road
In this here land
I've been everywhere, man
I've been everywhere, man
I crossed
the deserts bare, man
the mountain air, man
Of travel I've had
my share, man
I've been everywhere
I've been to Reno, Chicago
Fargo, Minnesota, Buffalo
Toronto, Winslow, Sarasota
Wichita, Tulsa, Ottawa...
Amarillo, Tocopilla
Barranquilla and Padilla
I'm a killer
I've been everywhere, man
I've been everywhere, man
Crossed the deserts bare, man
I've breathed
the mountain air, man
Of travel I've had
my share, man
I've been everywhere
I've been to Boston
Charleston, Dayton, Louisiana
Washington, Houston, Kingston
Texarkana, Monterey, Faraday
Santa Fe, Tallapoosa
Glen Rock, Black Rock
Little Rock, Oskaloosa,
Tennessee, Hennessey, Chicopee
Spirit Lake, Grand Lake
Devil's Lake
Crater Lake for Pete's sake
I've been everywhere, man
I've been everywhere, man
Crossed the deserts bare, man
the mountain air, man
Of travel I've had
my share, man
I've been everywhere
I've been everywhere, man
I've been everywhere, man
I've been everywhere, man
I've been everywhere, man
Crossed the deserts bare, man
I've been everywhere
I've been everywhere, man
I've been everywhere, man
Crossed the deserts bare, man
I've been everywhere, man
Of travel I've had
my share, man
I've been everywhere
I show up to Missouri,
it's about a 100 degrees out.
I'm obviously in a place
that I have no idea...
I don't know anything
about Missouri.
I've never been there before.
Are you kidding me?
Are you fucking
kidding me?
And I knew that there was a wave
there called the Centaur,
and I knew
that it was big and scary.
I'm gonna get my full suit
and the helmet for protection.
Because this thing
is really raging.
We found one, guys!
We fucking found the Centaur!
There's a lot of warnings,
on the website,
like, about the wave.
But I had just conquered
like, four states,
and I'm like,
I'm just going to get a wave
and call it a day,
I'm going to check Missouri off,
and then we're on to Arkansas.
So, I get down
to the edge of the river
and I automatically
had a bad feeling.
All right, guys, the Centaur
looks seriously gnarly.
I wouldn't say I'm exactly hyped
on doing this by myself.
But I at least gotta go try one.
So, let's do this.
When I see the wave,
it's just this big glassy orb
flowing through the river.
And I'm like, okay, cool.
This looks like
I'm gonna ride my seven foot.
In the ocean maybe,
but in a river,
that's the worst idea
you could ever make.
I need to think for a minute.
There's mosquitoes everywhere,
biting me all over my body.
Like, literally, I'm getting
attacked by mosquitoes as I go.
The ground is just mud.
Every step I took,
it went up to my ankle.
The river is hot, sweaty, hot,
and the river's super wide
and just flowing like
the fastest, scariest thing
you've ever seen.
I remember just being like,
"This is a bad idea,
"but I'm doing it."
Wish me luck, guys.
I'm just heading
towards the wave.
And, dude, the river is, like,
all high,
and you can't see the wave
until you get to the ledge.
And from the bank,
this thing looks like
it's about two feet tall.
But when you're in
that river flowing, like,
twenty miles an hour downstream
and you see the wall,
it gets big, real quick.
And I came over the wall
and I just spun around.
Like, I was looking back
and just ready
to catch this wave.
And I remember
getting sucked down
and I just picked up
so much speed,
I went over the wave.
No chance I was catching it,
I was going so fit.
Fighting, getting sucked
under the water, and it, like,
flipped me and rolled me,
and I got rolled upside down
and sucked the nose under.
My legs were sticking up,
and I was literally
holding on for dear life.
And I was like,
I'm about to die
in the middle of Missouri,
surfing a river wave.
I eventually
got out onto, like,
the white foam ball
and pulled myself out
the back of the wave,
and I just like drifted over
to the side of the shoreline,
and I was just like...
I literally
have to call it, dude.
I can't risk my life.
Fucking bumming, dude.
Literally, that thing
took me under,
flipped me upside down.
I tweaked my back so bad,
if I wasn't holding
on to my board,
I probably would've just died.
I just held on to my board
and went up. It was holding me
back behind the waterfall
and then finally let me go
when I wriggled out of it.
I literally was in shock,
and I didn't realize.
After that, I went back
to my hotel
I went to sleep for the night.
Edited my video like normal
I woke up the next morning.
Good morning, guys.
We are in Missouri, still.
And I'm not gonna lie,
yesterday really took
the wind out of my sails.
Questioning the journey.
I couldn't drive the car west.
Any further west.
I, like, had a mental block.
Like, I couldn't make
a right-hand turn
out of the hotel
to go to Arkansas.
Like, I was done.
And I just broke down crying.
I'm so stressed out.
'Cause I don't know what to do.
I don t want to be here anymore.
I had kayakers hit me up online.
Like, "Yo, you almost died."
Like, "That hydraulic's gnarly.
People die there."
I go online. I looked up
there's four deaths
at that spot.
Four people have died there.
Okay, guys. I've never
had this before.
I don't know
what's going on, but
I would imagine that this is
a panic attack. Um,
I'm having severe anxiety.
Very confusing, tripped out.
And, uh,
I just, I got to get home.
So I'm pulling the plug.
And this is real.
Yes, this is real.
I'm really pulling the plug.
I'm getting on 64 East right now
and then I'm just gonna
start trucking home.
So that's what I'm doing.
That's what I'm doing.
When you're as driven as Ben
and you have these goals
and you have an expectation,
and sometimes it can't
always be met,
there is, like, this
significant feeling of
letdown and pressure.
And so it's hard to, kind of,
not use substances
to cope with that
emotional pain.
No way.
I'm home.
I don't care who you are,
how much money you make,
what you do,
how big of a person you are,
sometimes you just need
to be home.
It's not like I came out of that
and I was, like,
"All right, I'm gonna go drink."
But I definitely thought
about it.
For sure.
Stuff like that.
is what makes you question
your situation.
And in a scenario like that,
it would be a whole lot easier
to just drown your sorrows
with a beer
than it would be
to face the problem head on,
and deal with that emotionally.
I had no idea if I even wanted
to continue surfing
the 50 states.
I think he needed
to focus on the things he loved.
I think he needed
to focus on himself again.
Focus on his family,
his friends,
surfing for fun.
I think he had to get back to
the reason why he was doing
what he was doing
because he was so caught up
in this goal.
It's kind of a funny story
because it's not your
conventional, like, "We met".
Just, I guess, most people
meet at a bar
or meet at school or something.
We met through Instagram.
One day, just commenting
on Instagram,
and I tagged my friend
in a shirt that said,
"Drinking coffee
and talking shit"
And I was, like,
"Oh, my God,
we need these T-shirts."
Not thinking it was
Ben's Instagram.
So, I commented on there.
And then, like, I guess,
a couple of hours later,
I got a DM, a direct message
from Ben.
So I clicked it, and I was like,
"Damn, dude."
I literally, like,
fell in love, like,
right when I saw her Instagram.
I don't know.
Dude, I never do this.
And I just went, like,
"Bam". Right, DM.
"Do you want a shirt?"
Or something like that.
I don't know what I said.
I was, like,
"I could totally get you a shirt
and you don't
have to pay for it."
So, couple clever remarks later,
we hung out
and we went
and got coffee together
Pretty much, like, the moment
that I met her,
from then on, it was just, like,
I just kind of knew.
Our relationship was pretty new
when I started surfing
the 50 states
and she would just
be tripped out because, like,
her vision of
a boyfriend is someone
that's home.
That they spend time with.
And, like, here she has me.
And I'm driving around
the country by myself, so...
"By myself" puts me
in a bad category
'cause it's, like,
"He's so insane
that nobody will
even go with him."
She didn't get what
I was doing at all.
And she always tried her
hardest to support me.
So our relationship's
just, like,
pretty magic.
Really what I was
searching for in other people,
or other relationships
that I thought of were
boyfriends in my mind,
they were people
that were hard-working,
that were determined,
that never gave up.
And I found that in Ben.
Together, we have done
unconventional things.
And, you know,
it's more exciting
than I could ever imagine.
No way.
No way.
No way!
No way!
No way!
Oh, my god!
Are you kidding me?
Are you kidding me?
Wave Bandit
Ben Gravy Pro Model.
Look at that shiny sticker.
Oh, my god!
Are you kidding me?
Thank you, guys, so much.
Look at this surfboard.
It's real. It's real.
This is the coolest thing
I've seen in my entire life.
Thank you for everything.
Thank you! Thank you!
And the eight-footer.
The eight-footer!
Are you kidding me?
The eight-footer?
Are you kidding me?
The eight-footer?
To be semi-pro is
to just be yourself.
The reality of my life is that
I was never
gonna be a pro surfer.
My entire career is an anomaly.
It happened by accident.
I didn't come up through
any structured
industry of surfing.
So I think it's hilarious
to call myself a semi-pro
because that's what
I feel like I am.
'Cause I'm never going to be
better than anybody else, dude.
I'm just straight up
a total kook.
I don't really know
how to explain it,
but, like, they can
have it, dude.
Pro? I don't need a title.
Like, I'm just a guy, dude.
I'm just a semi-pro.
I have something
very special in me.
When I was two years old,
I was diagnosed with
high-functioning autism.
So over the course of my
adolescence and teenage years,
I had a lot of trouble,
you know, to try and find some
sort of identity for myself
And then, of course,
when Ben came along
and introduced me to surfing,
you know, I found my true
purpose and identity.
It's uncertain, but all I know
is that just like Ben,
I'm going to live
the stoke life.
I'm living the sober life.
And, because of him,
I wouldn't be
sitting here today.
There's a lot of things I'd like
to be thankful to Ben,
but the biggest thing
I would like to say,
"Thanks, Ben, for being
an excellent friend."
Ben is a really good influence
on a lot of people
around the world.
He's out there showing you
that you don't
have to be a pro surfer.
You just got to go out there
and have as much fun
as you can, you know?
I think he just
laid it out there
and said, "I'm Ben Gravy.
I'm semi-pro."
Look here, guys.
For young kids, Ben's, like,
an incredible person,
awesome role model.
And if you were to ask me that
10 years ago,
about Ben being a role model
for young kids,
that would be the last thing
I would think of.
I would say,
"Anything he does, don't do."
But now, it's a complete 180.
And he claims semi-pro.
It's amazing.
Like, this guy's
grabbed everything
and just put it out there.
You know, he's got
an awesome following.
He's, like...
Everyone loves him.
I mean, Ben's living the dream
and he made it happen.
And that's the best part
about Ben.
I feel like out there, there's
only a certain amount of people
that could be a pro surfer,
and it's hard to relate.
Ben's a semi-pro.
I think everyone's a semi-pro.
And it's just like
putting a stamp like,
"I'm not a pro surfer.
But, hey, I'm having
the time of my life."
And he created this whole
industry around him.
You know, he's got killer
sponsors now.
He's like the forefront
of Wave Bandit.
He is the king of vlogging
and surfing.
And there is so much
respect for him.
And I just feel like
Ben had a dream
and had a vision
of what he wanted to do
and what he wanted
to accomplish.
Positive outlook on life,
whether you're a kid
or 80 years old,
it's something that you could
definitely use as a role model,
for sure.
I took a long time off
after that.
A while.
And, uh...
it took me...
You know, that moment,
was kind of like
the commitment moment.
It was, like,
are you gonna do this?
was it just kind of a joke?
You're gonna just let it go?
And I decided
that I was gonna do it.
At the car dealership right now.
As you may have guessed,
I have the Dodge ProMaster
for the dream.
I am so stoked.
The 2017
Dodge Semi-ProMaster.
I hope you guys
are as excited as I am.
I'm going to renovate
this thing. Make it the ultimate
road trip mobile.
And drive it across the country.
Good morning, Nub Nation.
I'm starting off today
with a socket thing.
In the past couple of years,
he's definitely made it,
like, a thing
to hunt out these novelties.
But even when he was younger,
I think, like, without trying,
he was always kind of hunting
little novelty waves
and surfing spots that
a lot of other people
didn't surf.
We're talking about
a finished floor, people.
I guess
the best way I can describe
Ben Gravy
in the surf industry is
hard work,
head down, grinding.
Whatever it is,
he's working every day.
His mind is not even
thinking it's work, you know?
This is, like, the way
that he operates.
He just wakes up
and he wants to make videos.
and he wants
to document his life.
And I think
it's really hardcore.
All right, ladies and gentlemen.
Walls. Ceilings.
Look at this storage space.
I'm tripping.
Unreal. It's unreal.
What's the most
attractive to me
is just his, like, drive
and determination.
He just goes and goes and goes.
And I just,
I just can't believe it.
Ben just doesn't give up.
And I've seen him
so many times, like, fail
in these past three years.
And, like, hard failures
where he was just beaten
and he didn't know what
he was gonna do next.
And he's, like, "I can't
believe this has happened."
Or, "I can't believe
I'm here again." And...
He just still didn't give up.
Put it on wax.
That's it.
We're done.
Dude, we're done.
We're done.
Was Ben's journey
to surf the 50 states
an accident
or was it his destiny?
The universe was lining up
for Ben.
His commitment to sobriety
and his love to surf
all the time,
anywhere he could,
was about to lead him
on one of the wildest rides
of his life.
Instead of going out
and just
checking off the states,
it was really important for me
to experience the journey.
And, yeah, with all those
big storms
coming across the country
and hitting us on the coast,
there was a lot of extra
activity that year.
And I felt like I could finish
what I started.
At least in the Great Lakes.
My wetsuit won't unzip.
Fully frozen shut.
What's going on out there?
Fun. Cleaning off.
Having a lot of fun out there.
Ben Gravy's killing it.
The people out there
are definitely
some of the most stoked people
in surfing.
And I guess, just because
the lakes don't get
waves all year round,
they kind of only
have a specific season.
The surfers out there
get really, really stoked.
It's just something really cool
to be a part of and witness.
Once I checked off
all of the states
surrounding the Great Lakes,
I knew that I could finish
the 50 states.
I had the entire Nub Nation
counting on me.
And the whole world
was watching.
Oh, my God, this is
the gnarliest thing.
We're here.
There's a wave.
There is a wave
right there, Hob.
Right there.
We did it, dude.
We fucking did it, Hob!
We did it!
So that little thing
holds as much stoke
as a 20-foot wave, in my head.
'Cause the journey.
The being in the middle
of nowhere.
Just finding this place.
We got to surf this
and then there's
another peak, dude.
It's on out here, boys.
Well, I think this is gonna
be pretty exciting for you.
We're here
in Oklahoma City, and
apparently, we can surf
one of these waves
that's part
of the whitewater run.
It's gonna be pretty gnarly.
but we're on it.
Dude, this is so sick.
Whoo! Montana!
The boys are crashing out
at the nature preserve.
Hour forty-five away
from the surf spot.
My final claim.
Stoked. Fully stoked.
Glad to meet ya. For the dream!
You're the man.
I bought
this new sleeping bag,
and it's supposed to be
a 20 degrees sleeping bag.
So I am supposed to be able
to get down to 20 degrees
with that.
And I have another blanket
I'm gonna put on top of that.
I got my back curtains closed
to keep heat in.
That's really it.
I'm about to tuck in
and hit the sack.
Getting up early to surf.
I just want to say,
thank you guys for everything.
Super fun day
And, uh...
the dream keeps moving forward
So thank you, guys.
Nub Nation for the win.
And, as always,
just keep it positive.
And keep pushing for the things
that you believe in
and the things
that you want in life.
Because, uh,
they are attainable
through hard work.
Good night.
I'll see you guys
in the morning.
For the dream.
Dude, there's one option.
This option is not
looking good, dude.
You're not gonna like it.
I found this swimming pool
-in Omaha.
That's literally for swimming.
It's like one of those pools
that does this.
Like a splash pool.
But there might be a wave in it.
You've seen video of it or no?
Video is not looking good,
but, as far as
Nebraska's concerned,
it's our only shot, dude.
Because this is completely flat.
I try to hit a state every day.
I mean, I put 62,000 miles
on my van in less than a year.
We drive, like, eight hours,
go to sleep,
wake up, drive another
eight to ten hours.
Surf, edit, go to sleep.
It's just something that, like,
when I came up with surf
the 50 states, I was, like,
"Oh, this is gonna be super fun.
I can't believe no one's
ever done it before."
And there is a reason
that no one's ever
done it before.
This is actually
better than we thought
it was gonna be.
As of right now,
we're watching waves break.
but they're still just
lightning everywhere.
So, If I'm gonna
get a chance to surf,
the lightning is
gonna have to pass.
This is the kinda shit
I dreamed about, dude.
Surfing shit that no one
was ever gonna surf.
And then I would come do it.
And that's kind of
what the whole mission
was all about the whole time.
We're about to start
the surf culture in Nebraska.
This is built for swimming.
And after we do this,
this could become a thing.
Like, people might
want to surf after this.
I was in Florida.
And I was actually
surfing Typhoon Lagoon.
And I made a vlog.
And I was, like,
"Wow, my first wave pool.
"That was really fun.
"Wouldn't it be cool
if I went to Kelly Slater's
Surf Ranch?"
I know I said I wanted
to save the Kelly Slater
wave pool till after
I finished the 50 states.
But the energy just feels
so right, right now.
I think it's time.
"If you guys think
that would be cool.
"DM Kelly Slater,
and tell him that he should
invite me."
The next day, when my vlog
comes out
it just so happens to be
the last day of the season
for the Surf Ranch.
Kelly is there.
At the Surf Ranch, surfing.
Essentially, what happened was,
my vlog came out...
If you guys would please leave
Kelly Slater numerous comments
on his Instagram,
Please, go bombard this guy.
Tell him that he needs
to invite me to the wave pool.
I will be forever grateful.
And Kelly got
out of his session,
his surf session,
and he got to his phone,
and he had hundreds of DMs
from people
telling him to invite me
to the Surf Ranch.
He went on Facebook Live,
hundreds of thousands
of people watching,
and he was literally, like,
I'm gonna say this.
I got at least 50 messages today
to get Ben Gravy in here.
Ben Gravy, you will be
my first invite next year, okay?
Everybody tell him.
We were in the back
of the plane,
like, literally freaking out.
Everyone was, like,
looking at us.
But, dude, we did it.
You guys did it.
You guys did it.
And he even said something like,
"I love that guy."
All those friends of Ben Gravy,
I got your messages today.
Tell Ben I'm going to get him
here next year
and we'll have some fun.
I love that guy's attitude.
And he goes
and surfs every wave.
Every novelty wave on Earth.
So, let's go make him
ride the best one.
First of all, I was
completely blown away.
I was honored.
I can't believe all those people
just went to bat for me.
Just through, like, the power
of the Nub Nation,
through just stoke,
pretty much just sent an average
guy to the Surf Ranch.
Oh, my God!
How do you feel?
I'm tripping, dude.
I'm gonna throw up.
Oh, my God!
-Oh, my god.
-This is insane.
Oh, my god.
Are you kidding me?
Freaking out, dude.
This isn't real, is it?
-It's real.
-I'm gonna cry, dude.
And, for me, that was, like,
"What's the surf industry?"
Because Kelly Slater
just invited me
to his private wave pool.
You think I'm ready?
Well, I don't know.
Maybe we made you wait too long
and now you're gonna be nervous.
-I've been nervous.
It's hard to explain,
but it's, like,
that's the pinnacle.
He's the greatest surfer
of all time
and he was just claiming
that I should come
out there and surf with him.
There was something
very empowering about it.
Like, we are changing surfing.
The fact that,
as a collective group,
there's so much power in just
people's opinions when
they band together
that they can actually
make things happen.
It's almost like a revolution.
Of course you want, like,
Surfer Magazine to be, like,
"Oh, the novelty guy.
"He's cool too."
Like, when I have
all these magazines
just pushing me away.
And then Kelly Slater
just goes, "Oh, yeah.
That dude's sick."
There's a level of, like,
"Wow, it doesn't matter
what anybody thinks"
because it comes back
to people.
Perception doesn't matter.
As long as you're living
your truth
and living your honest life,
and, like, just doing
what you wanna do,
who cares what
other people think?
I just want to say
thank you to everybody.
Uh, the universe is real
and positivity is real.
This is the main point
that I actually wanna make.
Three years ago,
I was 26 years old,
washed up, barely surfed,
blown out knee,
with a doctor telling me
I might never surf again.
I changed my life.
I changed my mindset.
And today I came
to the Kelly Slater wave pool
and I surfed.
Anything is possible.
If you chase your dreams,
if you put positivity
and goodness
out into the universe,
it will come back
to you, I promise.
I am living proof.
Thank you, Nub Nation
for the win.
I love you
and I'll see you tomorrow.
For the dream!
Because the dream
continues tomorrow.
Good night.
-Surfing Dude!
-Surfing Dude?
I'm gonna have to change
my Instagram handle, dude.
Surfing Dude!
This is truly what
it really is all about.
Surfing is one of those things
where you can pass it on
from generation to generation.
There is waves here in
Omaha, Nebraska,
and nobody surfs.
But now we got AJ,
our first surfer here
at the wave pool.
Guaranteed, in 20 years,
that guy has a crew,
and there's kid's
surfing here every day.
Ben's amazing, dude.
He inspired me to
live a dream, you know?
And that included my wife,
included moving,
and included doing
all the stuff
that I would have never done
without seeing Ben.
He not only affects
my life, but he affects
other people all the time.
Just his positive
mental attitude
and driving people
to conquer their dreams.
That's the tie
and why he's so successful.
I mean, it's a dream
just to be here,
watching him surf
this crappy wave pool.
All right, we came
to Nebraska today
not expecting much.
And with the weather,
I didn't even know
if I was actually
gonna get to surf.
But we showed up
at the Fun-Plex
and all the energy
was just so amazing.
And sometimes it's not
always about
the quality of the wave itself.
It's about the quality
of the energy, of the location.
So Nebraska well and truly
exceeded our expectations.
I'm honored to be here,
honored to check off
state number 49.
Moving on to the last state.
Ben's an anomaly
and they don't understand it.
Because a giant company
could put out a video,
and it's probably not gonna
get as many views
as one of Ben's videos,
who is just one person.
I mean, just because
you have a giant brand
with 500 employees,
it doesn't mean you put
any work on YouTube
to deserve more views.
I think it has a lot to do
with, like, charisma too.
You can buy a million views
or a million followers,
but is that real? No.
Is the influence Ben has
on some 8-year-old kid,
that he's never met,
in a different country, real?
Yeah, it is. That's the thing.
So while YouTube's
been around for a long time,
as far as the surf world
is concerned,
it's only really been
a big player the last
handful of years.
And, honestly, a lot changed
in the surf world
when Ben started
getting recognition.
and it's becoming this thing
where there's this
community of people
that wanna be able
to follow along with, like,
their favorite surfers.
And now YouTube
is a huge player
in surfing.
And companies
are realizing that
they can use the surfers
to directly relate
to the consumer.
And it's such a more
personal feel
than your advertising
that was in magazines,
or on TV, or whatever, prior.
And the game has
completely changed
in the last three years.
What we're doing as
a movement, creating content,
is the dream right now.
It's not about winning
contests because
it's all about having fun.
So by making these videos
on this rad platform,
and sharing everything
that we love to do,
and, you know, be that
person that could interact
like, "Oh, I can do the
same thing as Jamie.
"I could do the same
thing as Ben."
So, you know, it's like,
"Hey, get out there.
"Get out of your house
and film it.
Document your life."
Because, hey, we only live once.
I think Ben was nominated
for best vlog because
his dedication,
his hard work,
his everyday grind
to go surf no matter
where it was.
Whether it was in 50 states,
or whether it's in Puerto Rico,
he's out there making
the best of life.
And people really respect that.
It was a really cool moment
going to Surfer Poll, you know.
It's like
we're rolling in together.
Ben Gravy, Jamie O'Brien,
and our girls.
And it's just, like,
this happy feeling
and we're both just so psyched.
If you haven't checked out
Ben Gravy on Instagram...
Ladies and gentlemen,
the number one,
vloggiest vlog
in the whole vlogiverse,
the vlog the fans have chosen.
The J.O.B. Vlog
starring Jamie O'Brien!
We've been filming for years
and we never won an award.
Uh, I'm a speechless surfer.
Thank you...
for this award.
Um, best vlog.
Big shoutout to Ben Gravy.
He really drived me to, like,
see this thing in front of me.
And I'm, like, "I really
wanna do it!" You know?
And he didn't really care about
what people thought.
And I was, like,
I like this guy.
And, um, I went for it
because of you, Ben. Thank you.
You're the man.
It's honestly more
recognition in that
than there would be
from me winning.
Because, like, Jamie's the guy.
And he's up there
just being like,
"I'm here because of Ben."
And that was a moment
that I'll never forget.
A camera? Is this... Hello?
By winning that award
and giving my speech more so
as a thanks to Ben
was a huge honor for me.
And I felt like we both
walked away winning.
I mean, Ben's the madman.
He's the reason
why I'm vlogging.
And this is the reason
why we're all here right now.
I think the reason
that Ben's more successful,
and it's hard for a lot
of other people to do,
is because they don't
break down the wall
and they're afraid
of what other
people are gonna think.
And to get to a position
where you can change
outcomes, you have to
let people see you.
You know, either in all
your glory
or in all your failings.
And that's a really
unique gift.
Who would've thought
novelty waves would be
such a hit? But he wasn't
afraid to put it out there.
And now it's like,
"Love me or hate me,
"this is what I'm doing."
Here we are.
We're in Anchorage, Alaska.
We are on Highway 1.
This highway goes down
Turnagain Arm
where we're going to be
surfing the tidal bore.
We pretty much got
to the airport,
made sure the boards made it,
loaded up the truck
and we are on our way to surf
my 50th state.
I have been in contact with
the Turnagain Arm surf crew.
They seem really cool
and, hopefully,
we are gonna be able
to find a wave today.
and check off
the 50th and final state.
It's definitely
a difficult wave to understand.
It might seem
kind of basic, like,
"Oh, it's just this
whitewater push.
You just jump in. You got it."
But It's so surgy and turbulent
that it'll throw you
and it'll toss you around
pretty easily
if you don't know
what you're doing
and understand how to manage
the energy of it.
We have
40 feet difference
between high and low tide.
And at low tide,
it looks like a river.
And as the tide comes in,
it forms a wave,
and that wave pushes for miles.
As it fills in, it's like
your regular ocean wave.
If you have a super deep spot
that goes right up to mountains
and you have a swell,
doesn't really matter
how big the swell is,
if it's not the right
shape underneath,
it's not gonna make a wave.
So it's the shape
of the silt in the arm.
Yeah, there's totally
some incidents
and some horror
stories of people.
walking out of the mud
flats during low tide
and getting stuck,
and then the tide comes in
and they drowned.
There is definitely some
juju out there,
and a lot of people
have been raised
in this area to never
go out there.
And the dangers are real
every time we go out.
You know, Ben already
had it in his mind.
He surfed 49 states. And Alaska,
this is going to be awesome.
But the tidal bore was...
It was definitely a wave.
And we saw the internet,
and saw in all the great videos.
So we were, like, "Oh, Yeah.
This is game on. No worries."
But when you go from that
to actually being here
in Alaska
and putting your feet
in the water,
it's a whole different deal.
All right, here we are
at the Turnagain Arm
with the Turnagain Arm
surf crew.
These guys are the local
experts on the wave.
They're gonna help guide me
as to where the wave's
gonna be breaking,
and what board I need,
and everything that involves
the wave itself.
So, from my perspective
right now.
it's looking pretty flat.
But these guys are saying
there's a swell coming to.
Ben's, you know,
a perfectionist
when it comes to,
like, having fun
and really making
this wave be the one.
So you kind of want all
your homework put together.
And then, when you go out
and get that one wave,
you don't miss it.
And you get it,
and you're in the right spot.
So there was
a lot of stuff that
we kind of had to learn
and figure out.
I, like, got off my board,
planted my feet
in the mud.
And the wave came, and
it was just pulling me back.
And, like, the the next thing
I knew, I was, like,
"Whoa, I'm in."
I'm in and I was just,
like, ripping.
The injury made him
take control of his life.
You know,
it was actually a good
thing that happened to him.
But, at the time,
it seemed like
it was horrible.
You know, you wouldn't
that on anyone.
But I think it changed
the whole
path then for Ben.
It woke him up.
It snapped something
in his brain. Like,
"I gotta take control
of my life.
"If I want my life to go
in this direction,
"I can make it happen.
"If I just do what
needs to be done."
I mean, 'cause
drinking is a cop
out for a lot of things,
and it makes life a lot
easier for people
because they just cop out
and they just stay
in that state.
He got out of it.
He just took it and said,
"I'm gonna change the world.
"I'm gonna make a difference."
And he is making
a huge difference.
A lot of avenues.
With the soft tops,
with the kids.
With surfing in every state.
Like, making it a universal
sport for the whole country.
We did it!
The wave chose
to pinch towards me
and give me the last bit
of the ride.
It was just so much emotion.
Out of body experiences
are hard to explain,
but it was so crazy
'cause I crawled up the rocks,
and a lot of it's hard
for me to remember,
But I ran up the rocks,
and I knew that Jordan
was up there.
So as soon as I saw Jordan,
I just broke down in tears.
Because it was like...
all that crazy shit.
I did it.
Jordan was a part
of this before
this was a job for me.
She was there when I was just
doing this because
I needed to do it.
It's like I've never
worked so hard
for something in my entire life.
I fucking did it!
Like, I really did it.
I did it.
Ben, in my mind,
doesn't have
to prove to anybody
that he can
rip like the top pro,
because he rips in his own way
and he's as good as anybody.
But I think, for him,
his important story
is to keep inspiring
those people
that don't rip to be themselves
and to go out no matter what.
and try it.
I think people recognize that
that Ben is being
completely himself.
He's being true.
He's being honest.
He's putting things
out there, as they happen.
It's almost, like,
kind of unfiltered, unedited.
He's being himself.
And I think that really
resonates with people.
He really, genuinely
is happy.
I think a lot of people
are missing
that in their lives.
And Ben brings that out.
People say all the time,
they comment,
and just say, like, "Thank you.
I needed that today
"because I was having
a horrible day and your vlog
changed my whole outlook."
You know, we're all human.
We all make mistakes.
And I think he started to see
when he was vlogging, that
there's a lot of people
out there who appreciate that
if you can put yourself
out there for who you are
and not worry that you
have a lot of problems
or things wrong with you,
it doesn't matter.
Other people do, too.
And there's a camaraderie
in that, and we can all
help each other.
Ben's change surfing
and the fact's that
every kid growing up
has only gotten to look
at the elite
as someone to look up to.
And Ben has shown everyone
that you don t have to be that.
You can be you,
however you are and whatever,
you know, gets you psyched.
You can be you and make
a career out of that.
What he's done with the vlog
and the surf world,
there's gonna be kids
growing up
who get to experience
a completely different lifestyle
of being a professional surfer
than anyone before us.
I'm living proof that anybody
can do anything.
Because I was that guy.
I lost. I literally lost.
And now, I'm here.
And whatever you want,
literally is possible.
Anything that you can imagine
is possible.
But you have to be willing
to work for it.
For the dream.
The journey
is now complete.
Ben Gravy has become
the first and only human
to surf in all 50
of these United States.
In doing so, he's managed
to touch the lives
of thousands of people.
Influencing and changing
people's perspectives
in the most honest
and heartfelt way.
Staring straight into
the camera, baring it all,
heart on his pineapple
T-shirt sleeve.
With the mission accomplished,
Ben's journey is now
a completed story
that forever exists to help
those in need.
Most, Ben Gravy
will forever be known
as the novelty wave king,
purveyor of stoke,
and catalyst for positivity.
No matter where you are,
no matter what
you are going through,
know that there is an entire
Nub Nation community out there
who is wishing
you the best in life
regardless of how
turbulent the waves.
Andy just bought a new hat.
Now he's psyching, bro.
I don't know.
Cool, dude.
Gnarly, Charlie.
Yeah, boys!
All right, ready?
Can you
show your dimples?
They're not even psyched.
Big dog!
Dude, I love you.
He's not even stoked.
He's not stoked.
Just by watching Ben Gravy,
I've developed this attitude
where I'm gonna be stoked
no matter what.
Whether it be surfing,
skiing, skateboarding.
Um, he just inspired everything,
like my style and surfing
and skating.
Even art.
Beyond the scribbles.
El Slammo is right there.
Hi, Ben and Jordan.
It's Lily from the UK.
I just wanted to say thank you
for all the constant
stoke and inspiration.
Hey, Ben. It's Todd Giuliano
from Connecticut.
Man, I just wanna thank you
for all the stoke, dude.
You... You've definitely
touched my life and
I am so grateful for it.
I just want to wish you
all the best
in your future endeavors.
And Nub Nation for the win, man.
God bless you.