Behind the scenes with Kolohe

Words: Vanda Gyuris
Photo above: Red Bull Content Pool

5 things Kolohe Andino wants you to know about his Visa commercial filmed on a massive wave in Teahupo’o.

In a recent Visa card commercial featuring Kolohe Andino, the nine-time NSSA champion, the surfer holds a waterproof cell phone between his teeth and sets off on a solid wave in Teahupo’o, Tahiti. Jet skis close in, a production crew sits in the channel, and a heli with a camera crane hovers above—and as Andino drops in, he punches in a pizza order using Visa checkout. When he’s spit out moments later, he finds a delivery boy on a jetski waiting in the channel.

The imagery is breathtaking and Morgan Freeman’s voiceover doesn’t hurt. The whole thing is so good, it’s almost too good. We asked Andino how it all came together.

1 Yes, it was real.
“I did all the stunts. It sounds weird to say stunts because I was just surfing. I had a GoPro strapped around my arms and shoulders, mounted on to me, then I just put [the phone] in front of me and typed.”

2 The surfing community loves it.
“I’ve had nothing but positive feedback, a lot of people in the water have been asking me about it.”

3 It was a wild shoot.
“I wasn’t super comfortable on that wave and it definitely was a big adrenaline rush, so I had to be on my game. They had - I don’t even know how many - cameras shooting, then the helicopter had this crane wire thing with the camera, there were jetskis everywhere and people dropping in on me; a bunch of wild stuff. It could have been a good thing because I wasn’t actually focusing on how dangerous the wave was or rattling myself in my own head.”

4 This isn’t some big Hollywood debut.
“As far as [further plans in] entertainment or TV there’s nothing planned. I’ll probably watch some TV this evening.”

5 He’s just a kid that likes to surf.
“When I watched it I thought it was a cool, inspiring vibe and I fully got chicken skinned, but then I tried to just forget about it. I didn’t want to think about it or show a bunch of people. I’m just a kid that likes to surf, and I’m on there. That’s about it.”

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10 2014 The red Bulletin

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