Kelly Slater’s 3-D IMAX Surf Epic to Launch at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History March 15

Film Offers Glimpse into Interplay of Natural Forces That Create The Ultimate Wave Tahiti
March 12, 2013
News Release
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Smithsonian Theaters will launch the giant-screen film, The Ultimate Wave Tahiti, Friday, March 15, at the Johnson IMAX Theater in the National Museum of Natural History. Iconic surfer Kelly Slater emerges in his first ever 3-D IMAX film appearance in veteran director Stephen Low’s production, The Ultimate Wave Tahiti. The visually captivating film seeks to explain the confluence of natural forces that control wave creation in the oceans. Slater and Tahitian waterman Raimana Van Bastolaer take on Tahiti’s most extreme surf break, known as Teahupo’o, in this epic visual experience that brings science and the quest for the perfect wave to life.

“The film attempts to convey the idea that no two waves are the same,” said director Stephen Low. “Yet, all waves share common traits. Like Kelly Slater himself, the epitome of what the best surfer in the world should be in terms of athletic prowess, intelligence and courage, to many the wave at Teahupo’o is indeed the ‘ultimate wave.’”

According to the world’s most accomplished surfers, Teahupo’o is truly a unique ocean wave, and the perfect classroom to discuss the mystery that is a wave. An educational guide for use in area schools accompanies the film.

Modern surfing and its culture often mention the search for the perfect wave. This quest is sometimes misunderstood by those not immersed in surf culture or uninformed about the ocean and waves. The Ultimate Wave Tahiti aims to change that. As key personalities in the film, Slater and Von Bastolaer help explain where waves come from, why they are important and how communities and people far from the ocean shore are affected by the ocean’s interplay within the ecosystem. With the use of advanced animation techniques and science support from the National Oceanic and   Atmospheric Administration and other authorities, Slater’s hands-on wave experience is woven together with profound scientific insights.

Slater’s impressive resume lends weight to his insights and credibility to his film role as lecturer and ocean authority. His 10 world championships, the most won by any surfer, give Slater a platform from which he frequently influences the sport and surfing lifestyle. Slater recently donated one of his winning surfboards to the sports collections at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Executive produced by K2 Communications, The Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3-D, is the first giant-screen film to use extreme surfing to explain the complex science of waves.

Individual tickets for The Ultimate Wave Tahiti are on sale now and may be purchased up to two weeks in advance. Groups of 10 or more may reserve tickets now for any date during the film’s expected run. The public may visit any Smithsonian Theaters box office, call toll-free (866) 868-7774 or visit for information or to purchase tickets.

The Johnson IMAX Theater is located on the first floor of the National Museum of Natural History at 10th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W. The theater’s 84-by-61-foot screen is the largest in Washington, D.C.

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