How Red Bull TV Brings a Live Surf Competition to the World

With upwards of 50 people on staff, streaming a surf competition to the world is quite the spectacle.

Chase Pellerin

Bringing a live surf competition like the Volcom Pipe Pro to the masses is easier said than done. The biggest hurdle? Surf competitions have waiting periods of two weeks or more, during which the competition could go off at any time — all depending on the waves.

For this year’s Pipe Pro, the call was made each morning at 7:00 a.m. Everyone — commentators, hosts, a full camera crew, drone pilots, in-water camera men, the entire production booth — had to be ready to go live at the drop of a hat. That equates to upwards of 50 people coordinating and executing a livestream on the somewhat remote North Shore of Oahu. It’s a spectacle, to say the least. We got to pull back the curtain a bit for a behind-the-scenes look at the entire production.

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Left: Inside the production room where RBTV employees cut and edit the live footage.
Right: Inside the set where commentators interviewed surfers live immediately following their heat.

If a surfer can master the Banzai Pipeline, he can hold his own on any waves.

North Shore local, Koa Rothman, gets in the zone before his heat.


All-around legendary waterman Kai Lenny throwing down at Back Door.



Hawaiian Water Safety keeping everyone safe amidst the barrels of Pipeline.






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