Over the past few months we’ve been working on a feature film with Dusty Payne. We followed the Maui native through Europe and Hawaii, documented his every wave, compiled interviews, and got a behind-the-scenes look at his bright, yet tumultuous, surf career.
When we first started the project our goal was to spotlight Payne’s many successes: his memorable ‘QS wins, landing multiple magazine covers, and of course, his standout sections in some of the best surf movies of this generation. But we also wanted to cover the many injuries that have plagued Payne throughout the years. We wanted to know how he battled and bounced back from an injured ankle, knee and lower back. Little did we know he was about to endure one of the worst injuries of his life.
After months of filming Payne surfing seemingly better than he ever has, things took a drastic and unexpected turn in January when Payne took a horrendous spill on a steep Backdoor wave. After a headfirst trip fall onto the reef, he was rushed to the hospital and underwent surgeries for a broken jaw and fractured skull.
When deciding on what to name the film, we asked for Payne’s input while he was in the hospital. His mouth was wired shut after his recent jaw surgery and he was unable to vocalize his thoughts. He grabbed a piece of paper and wrote down one word: “Relentless.” So that’s what we’re calling it.
Above is the trailer for “Relentless,” an in-depth look at the past, present and future of Payne’s surf career. Press play and stay tuned to Surfer.com for updates about the film.