Ken Bradshaw

Comments From Layne Beachley ASP-WCT World Champion

Ken Bradshaw
October 4, 1952
Houston, Texas
  • Incredible passion for surfing and living life to it's fullest!
  • Fitness fanatic, strict vegetarian, drug and alcohol free.
  • Inspirational spokesperson, ideal role model, humble, articulate.
  • One of the highest profiled big wave surfers in the world.
  • Ken's "childlike" sense of humor and charming good looks have made him an extremely popular personality world wide. (A big kid in a big man's body.)
  • Always takes time to shake a hand and introduce himself, respects recognition and takes it in his stride.
  • To date, has surfed the biggest wave on the North Shore of Oahu, standing at a record-breaking 85-feet plus! January 28, 1998.
  • Pioneer of tow-in-surfing off the outer reefs of Oahu, Hawaii.
  • Has amazing focus and sense of personal direction.
  • Pioneer of paddle surfing off the outer reefs of Oahu.

Ken has achieved more in his short life span than most others would even dream about, let alone accomplish. Born and raised in Houston, Texas. Ken sacrificed a promising football career by choosing to follow his heart and soul and go surfing. At the ripe young age of 17, he ran away to Encinitas, California, in order to find the ultimate wave. Since then surfing has been his life.

He made a mark for himself in every line-up that he entered, but knew that all he really wanted to do was ride big waves. Three years later he moved to Hawaii and settled into Oahu's North Shore. It didn't take long for him to become accepted and respected for the big waves, which he excelled in instantly. He conquered 20-foot Waimea that is renowned as the "meanest" big wave sight in the world, 15-foot Sunset Beach, and numerous other outer-reef locations that no one in their right mind would even consider trying to paddle out. But, Ken did, he wanted it the most. He has the passion, the desire, and the incredible fearless attitude it takes to live his dreams.

The most amazing thing about this man is that he still possesses these qualities and more; Passion! Desire! Fearlessness! Focus! Determination! That is what it takes to put your life on the line each and every day, especially when your ultimate dream is to ride the biggest wave in the world and survive to tell the tale. On January 28, 1998, Ken's dream of the past 25 years finally became reality.  But, I'll let him tell you that story as he has told hundreds of others. It was undoubtedly the "biggest" wave ever ridden! Surfed on an outer reef that has never been surfed at that size before. Dreamed about, but never surfed.

Some label him as a maniac, others think he is crazy, but everyone refers to him as a legend. Ken Bradshaw is a legend and a hero. But he is also just a human being who has so much passion, desire, and confidence that he will do what it takes to turn dreams into real life adventures. He is a true inspiration.

By: Layne Beachley

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