Disney has announced a brand new Disney+ Original series, “Chasing Waves”, which will premiere globally on the streaming platform on 11th January 2022.
In the wake of surfing’s debut at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, “CHASING WAVES” shines a spotlight on the people and places that are defining Japan’s reach in the global surf culture and examines the diverse regions, unique characters, and endless surf along the over 18,000 miles of coastline that makes Japan one of a kind.
The character-driven documentary series, shot with state-of-the-art 4K cameras and stunning 16mm archival film, follows athletes from various cultural backgrounds as they pursue their dreams and paints a captivating picture of Japanese life and showcases what it takes to succeed in the international surf industry.
The docu-series features extraordinary pro surfers Mahina Maeda, Yuma Takanuki, Sara Kohrogi, 2021 Olympic Silver Medallist Kanoa Igarashi and Australian-Japanese surfer Connor O’Leary.
From the indoor wave pool called the “Ocean Dome” in Miyazaki to the hallowed grounds of the stalwart surfers in the icy waters of Hokkaido, “CHASING WAVES” paints a holistic picture of the world of Japanese surfing culture through those who live it in a magical new way.
Executive Producer, Andrew Fried of Boardwalk Pictures (Chef’s Table, Cheer, Last Chance U) said:
“Surfing is not just a sport, but a culture and a way of life. Surfing is a community that truly knows no borders. Putting a lens on these athletes from this part of the world allows us to connect with their passion, and experience just how universal and global surf culture is today.”
Executive Producer and Co-Director Christopher G. Cowen (The Sixties, 1968, On Freddie Roach) of Station 10 Media said:
“We’re thrilled that Disney+ is supporting the opportunity to illuminate these inspiring, historic, culturally rich, and important stories about the oceans and those that ride its waves.”
Here are the details on the eight episodes:
Episode 1: Chasing The Dream
In the wake of surfing’s Olympic debut in Tokyo, CHASING WAVES shines a spotlight on the people and places that are defining Japan’s reach in the global surf culture.
Episode 2: Weight of a Nation
The weight of a nation rests on Team Japan as the athletes prepare for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Mahina Maeda and Kanoa Igarashi reflect on their multicultural identities.
Episode 3: Rising Tide
In the wake of surfing’s Olympic debut in Japan, we learn there are two types of surfers, those who compete, and those who are “free”.
Episode 4: Legacy
Family legacy is explored as surfers Sara Kohrogi and Connor O’Leary connect with their Japanese roots.
Episode 5: Power of the Ocean
The raw power of the ocean is revealed as Mahina Maeda learns to surf big waves and Yuma Takanuki explores the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and a tsunami’s devastating impact on the surf community in Fukushima.
Episode 6: Ebb and Flow
As the surfers deal with loss and setbacks, some question their pursuit of competitive surfing.
Episode 7: Undercurrents
Connor O’Leary fights for a comeback on the WSL Challenger Series, facing off against Olympic silver medalist Kanoa Igarashi in France.
Episode 8: Sea of Change
As surfing becomes a permanent Olympic sport, the athletes look to the future. Mahina Maeda and Sara Kohrogi return to Japan to learn about a rite of passage they missed while growing up in America.
“Chasing Waves” is produced by Boardwalk Pictures and Station 10 Media, with Jason Baffa (Singlefin: Yellow, One California Day, Bella Vita and Loopers: The Caddie’s Long) serving as Director. Christopher G. Cowen (Cheer, Last Chance U, Decades Series, State of Play) and Andrew Fried (Cheer, Chef’s Table, Val) serve as Executive Producers.
All eight episodes will premiere on 11th January globally on Disney+.
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.