Buzzy Kerbox

Buzzy Kerbox

  • World Cup Surfing champion in the US and Australia
  • Former Top Ralph Lauren “Polo” Model
  • Breakthrough water sport leader who set a world record for paddling across the English Channel
  • Water sport stuntman

Based in Hawaii

Keynote Fee: Contact Forte Speakers

Buzzy Kerbox is a legendary water innovator and has pioneered numerous ground-breaking water techniques including tow-in surfing with the likes of world-renown surfers Laird Hamilton and Derrick Doerner at locations where only the best go – Backyards, Sunset – Oahu and later at Jaws in Maui. He still plays a major role in tow-in.

Regarded as one of the best paddlers in the world, it isn’t a surprise that Buzzy was the first to paddle the English Channel with Laird Hamilton. He is consistently a top finisher at the Molokai Paddle event, a grueling 32-mile race, and other prestige’s long distance races. Buzzy recently took first place in his respective age division in the team stock in Molokai where serious watermen endure exhausting elements to get from the island of Molokai in a deep-water channel to the south shore of Oahu. He managed to finish in just five hours, 26 minutes.

Buzzy was also amongst the first to get involved with the growth of windsurfing and riding waves on windsurfers and was amongst the top 16 surfers from 1977 to 1983. In 1978 he claimed the coveted World Cup of Surfing title in Hawaii and also won the Coke Surf About in Australia.

After that he went on to become one of Ralph Lauren’s top Polo models, which launched his successful modeling career. He is also a Screen Actors Guild cardholder, a stuntman and has worked on many motion pictures including Water World with Kevin Costner.

Buzzy has spent a lifetime in the water traveling the world in pursuit of the ultimate freedom and excitement that comes from riding the best waves on the planet. For over four decades he has remained in the spotlight as a pro surfer, stand up paddler, tow-in pioneer at Jaws, and as a contract model for Polo by Ralph Lauren.

Shortly after having moved to Hawaii, in 1966, Kerbox began surfing. He was ranked in the top ten in 1977, 1978 and 1980. He won the 1978 World Cup at Sunset Beach and the 1980 Surfabout in Sydney. His development of tow-in surfing, along with fellow surfers Dave Kalama, Laird Hamilton and others, paved the way for surfers worldwide to catch waves which were previously thought to be out of reach, either because they were far from natural breaks like beaches and coasts or because they were too big.

Buzzy grew up in Kailua on Oahu, taking every chance he could to surf the world-famous breaks on the North Shore such as Pipeline and Sunset Beach. Surfing gave him the opportunity to travel the world many times over from South Africa, Australia, Bali, Tahiti and much more. But he emphasizes that if he could pick only one wave to ride for the rest of his life, it would be “Backdoor Pipeline 6-8 feet with a NW swell and perfect offshore wind.”

Buzzy moved to Maui in 1993 where he raised three sons.  While on Maui, he was one of the first people to ever get towed into a wave on a jet ski.  Along with his partners Laird Hamilton and Darrick Doerner, they developed techniques that created a whole new genre of big-wave surfing.

Buzzy Kerbox has been a household name to surfers since the early 70s with a surfing resume that is among the greats of the sport.  A few things that he’s proud of:



When he isn’t in the water or gracing Hollywood screens he is busy teaching surf school to kids and celebrities in Maui and spending time with his wife and three sons.

Is your organization looking for an exciting, inspirational, and thought-provoking speaker for your meeting?   They will hear stories and wisdom from Buzzy’s 40+ years of surfing around the world; learn about his efforts in spearheading an entirely new level of big-wave surfing with the tow-in revolution at Jaws; hear about how he pushed the limits of what people can accomplish as he set records on the water through a variety of disciplines.

Buzzy will work with your organization to custom-tailor a speaking package based on what the group is looking for, relating the dynamic world of the ocean to everyday life, giving people a firsthand account of what it is like to be on the leading edge of what people are capable of accomplishing with a little bit of passion and commitment.


KEYNOTE TITLES (content is tailored to your group and industry)

Average Skill… Phenomenal Will  

Mastering a sport is not a lot different from mastering any skill, or achieving at one’s highest potential. Until the age of 14 Buzzy Kerbox was never great at any sport he tried, but he discovered that he had a love for surfing. And that started him on a path toward achievement and wins on a worldwide level.  Buzzy surfed for enjoyment much of his youth, but then when he turned 10, he started competing. Though, in the beginning, most of the other competitors were far better than him, he had a competitive spirit, and he wanted more than anything to find a way to beat them. Buzzy studied the greats, and saw what he needed to do to improve. Day in and day out he worked hard on everything that he knew he needed to do to be a top surfer. In the process, Buzzy learned that five keys made the difference in his success, and it is these five important keys, and how to reach inside and keep pushing himself forward, that he shares with his audiences. Because of these five keys, Buzzy’s average skill became exceptional, and he worked his way up the ranks to a top winning surfer in the big league worldwide.

The five keys are:

  • a phenomenal will to win – Many young people don’t believe in themselves. But a phenomenal will to win can be attained. Attendees will find out HOW.
  • a commitment to improve on all aspects of his sport – It’s easy to quit along the way when there are setbacks, losses and even injuries. But we can learn HOW to commit to improve ourselves.
  • training harder on all aspects of the sport – For those who watched the Olympic games from Rio De Janeiro, you know that training hard is critical to winning. We can learn HOW to train hard, and love it.
  • digging deep and giving his all – Sometimes we have to dig deeper inside than we ever have in order to give our all. Find out what Buzzy does to give more and more of himself every single day.
  • willing the waves to come to him – Winning athletes will tell you that they visualize exactly what all of the conditions will look like when they win. Buzzy will share the process he uses over and over again that has generated the conditions he has needed to win – a process that we can all use to achieve at our highest possible best.

Innovate to Find a Better Way

Whatever you dream of and want to achieve, there just might be a new approach that could be an absolute Game Changer. One of the biggest problems in surfing is trying to surf around the crowds in the water – finessing around masses of surfers who all want the good waves. The lineups are like ski resorts where everyone wants their turn. On the great days, people are lined up for the chair lifts, and the runs are packed with skiers and snowboarders – all getting in each other’s way. As a surfer, we sit in a big pack waiting for sets of waves, then literally fight it out for the best ones, with a pecking order based on positioning, skill, size and willingness to actually fist fight for a wave. The best surfers and the “big dogs” get all the best waves, leaving the rest of the pack to accept the scraps.

This was a familiar scene for years in the lineups in Hawaii and all over the world. Yet great waves would be breaking on “outer reefs” located between a quarter to half a mile offshore with no one around. Impossible? Crazy to take on? Only for the most insane surfer? This would be similar to the kinds of ski runs that daring hot-doggers take on via helicopter drops in the backcountry of the Rocky Mountains.

But great things are achieved in life when we take calculated chances. In this presentation, Buzzy will share how he and friends and top surfers, Laird Hamilton and Darrick Doerner, took a chance and tapped into waves that no one else was willing to try, what they learned about taking chances, how they refined their skills, and how their ultimate experience of turning surfing around in Hawaii – and the world – is a powerful metaphor for all of us for taking on the next big challenge in business…and in life.

Additional Topics

Digging Deep to Become a Winner

Dealing with and Overcoming Major Setbacks

Follow your dreams


“In 2012 I was the organizer of the 33rd annual Anomalous Absorption Conference. The meeting was held in late July on the North Shore of Oahu. This was an international conference on how lasers interact with ionized gases. Since the meeting was on the North Shore I thought it would be nice to have a ‘big wave’ surfer for the banquet speaker. As luck would have it through a mutual friend, I was able to get Buzzy Kerbox to be our after dinner speaker. Buzzy showed a short video followed by a talk on how he learned to surf, how and why he started tow-in surfing, and how it feels to catch and surf big waves.  He also graciously answered questions from the audience.  I have been told by countless people that Buzzy was the most enjoyable after dinner talk they have ever heard, and I agree with this sentiment.  It was a truly a memorable evening.”  Warren Mori   Professor of Physics and Astronomy and Electrical Engineering   University of California at Los Angeles

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 12.28.54 PM