Hau performing (Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay while surfing. PHOTO courtesy Chris Hau

Cowabunga, baby!

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By Alannah Kavanagh

A speedboat cruises through the water, creating waves as it goes.

Behind it, Chris Hau rides his surfboard with a guitar in hand. He strums the guitar and shifts his weight to stay balanced, making it look effortless.

“So a lot of musicians like to play guitar on a stage. Well today, we’re going to do something different. We’re going to play guitar on a surfboard,” Hau says, introducing his now-popular YouTube video.

He begins to play Katy Perry’s Roar, singing while remaining balanced on his board. He stays upright for the entire duration of the song, not hesitating even once.

Hau, a recent Ryerson radio and television arts graduate, began playing guitar when he was 14 years old and learned to surf when he was 18. But it never occurred to him to combine his two talents until he started university.

A guest speaker who came to Hau’s business and music class told students that in order to succeed, they needed to separate themselves from their peers. These words inspired his idea. Hau thought that doing something completely unique was what could help him stand out.

“I was daydreaming a little and the idea just sparked. I’d been surfing for so long I knew I was comfortable enough to know I would never fall,” Hau said.

It took him over a year of planning before he filmed his first video, but almost immediately after uploading it, the number of views started to grow. Roar currently has over 73,000 hits on YouTube.

He received positive responses, gaining recognition from international organizations, including the Daily Mail and Huffington Post.

His video also made an appearance on Good Morning America.

“Watching a production that I made all on my own on a national broadcast, that was a bit of a holy shit moment for me,” Hau said.

But for this YouTuber, surfing and singing aren’t the only things he can do. He’s also recorded a video of himself performing while parasailing.

“I’ve got some cool ideas for the upcoming season when the weather starts to get better.”


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