The Ultimate Wave Tahiti

2010 / released in IMAX 3D


Featuring nine-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater, The Ultimate Wave follows a quest to find the perfect wave-riding experience. Filmed in Tahiti and among the islands of French Polynesia, the film showcases dramatic giant screen surfing action in a unique Pacific paradise.

Kelly Slater and a group of friends arrive in Tahiti. With their host, Tahitian surfer Raimana Van Bastolaer they will seek out the best waves breaking on the reef at the famed surf site Teahupo’o. Kelly and Raimana share a passion for the waves, but different ideas about what surfing means: is it a modern competitive sport or an ancient Polynesian wave-riding art? Either way, if the right conditions arise, they hope to surf some unique giant barrels created by storm swells breaking atop the shallow reef.

As the surfer’s quest unfolds, the film explores the hidden forces at work shaping the waves and the islands that lie in their path. In stylized animated segments, the audience is propelled into the cosmos to discover the sources of a wave’s energy; and then back to Earth to witness the swirling dance of the atmosphere that will transfer energy deep into the ocean and shape a wave’s long journey across thousands of miles of open Pacific.

About the Film

  • Release date: 2010
  • Length: 45-min. and 24-min. versions
  • Release Format: 15/70 3D & 2D
  • Produced by: The Stephen Low Company / Perfect Wave Productions Inc.
  • Distributed by: K2 Communications & Stephen Low Distribution Inc.
  • Formats: 15/70, 8/70, Digital 2K/4K, Digital 2D/3D, Full Dome, HD/SD
  • Availability: 3D and 2D


  • Directed by: Stephen Low
  • Produced by: Pietro L. Serapiglia, Stephen Low
  • Editor: James Lahti
  • Narrated by: Michael Hanrahan
  • Written by: Alexander Low
  • Exec in Charge of Production: Dougal Boone Caron
  • Supervising Producer and Creative Consultant: Kelly Slater
  • Executive Producers: Jeff Cutler, Terry Hardy, Stephen Low, Mark Kresser
  • Action Sports Consultant: Ryan Kresser
  • Associate Producers: James Lahti, Alexander Low
  • Director of Photography: Mark Poirier
  • Surf Director of Photography: Mike Prickett
  • Underwater Photography: Stephen Low
  • Additional Surf Photography: Ron Condon
  • Aerial Photography: Ralph Mendoza
  • Original Music by: Michel Cusson
  • IMAX SANDDE Technology provided by IMAX Corporation
  • SANDDE Animator: Peter Stephenson
  • Visual Effects Supervisor: Mario Rachiele
  • Sound Design: Peter Thillaye
  • Production Manager: Michel Chauvin
  • Marine Coordinator: Raimana Van Bastolaer


Outstanding Achievement in Action Sports FilmmakingUltimate Wave Tahiti; Newport Beach Film Festival, Newport Beach, California, 2010

Bronze Palm AwardUltimate Wave Tahiti; Mexico International Film Festival, 2011

Jury Lycéen AwardUltimate Wave Tahiti; Festival Les Toiles de Mer, 2011

Best Film,  Sports Category—Ultimate Wave Tahiti; Blue Ocean Film Festival, Savannah, Georgia, 2010