"Mad Dogs": the story of the Jaws paddle-in pioneers
"Mad Dogs" is a documentary about three surfers that wanted to prove to the world that paddling for waves at Jaws was not an impossible mission.
The 75-minute film features three Brazilian hellmen - Danilo Couto, Marcio Freire, and Yuri Soledade. They moved to Hawaii in the late 1990s with a specific goal in their minds: to ride the world's biggest waves.
"Mad Dogs" was directed by Roberto Studart.
It was shot during the 2015 season and reveals testimonials from major figures in the surfing world scenario, such as Shane Dorian, Tom Carroll, Darrick Doerner, Buzzy Kerbox, and Eddie Rothman.
Danilo Couto was raised in Salvador, Brazil, and started surfing at the age of 10. In 1997, during his undergrad in Economics, he convinced his parents he needed to enroll in an English course in California.
But before that, he went to Hawaii to visit his friend Yuri. He never returned. He started working in carpentry, dishwashing, cleaning, and almost anything that would let him surf.
In 1999, he caught a 50-foot wave in Waimea and landed a double-page spread in a surf magazine.
From that point on, Danilo solidified himself as one of the best big riders in the world. He was a finalist at the XXL Big Wave Awards ten times and won "Ride of The Year" in 2011.
Marcio Freire also started surfing at an early age and became a multiple-time state champion in Bahia.
But, because he didn't fit in the routine of a big city, he decided to drop college and go to Hawaii in search of the dream of a simple life around surfing.
After years of dishwashing, he started taking tourists on boat rides and kept away from the surfing media spotlight.
Marcio's social detachment makes him an unusual character in society in an era when everyone seeks fame. Marcio never joined the tow-in movement. He always surfed Jaws by himself, using his arm power.
Yuri Soledade grew up between the city of Ilhéus and Salvador.
After winning a contest whose prize was a ticket to Hawaii, he fulfilled his dream of moving there. He dropped Engineering college and strived, like all immigrants, to survive.
Yuri's story is about the real American dream. Coming from a third-world country without money and without speaking English, he started washing dishes in a restaurant.
Later, he became a manager and, finally, owner. He then opened two more restaurants and is now a successful businessman.
As a grommet, he disputed the top rankings in surfing competitions with Marcio. In the Hawaiian archipelago, he has become a free surfer, developing an unrivaled appetite for big waves.
Besides the restaurants, Soledade spends his time chasing the biggest waves in the world. He is "self-sponsored," a very rare thing to achieve.
Couto, Freire, and Soledade started surfing Jaws in 2006 without jet ski support, rescue teams, and life jackets. Luckily, they survived to tell the story.