Surfer vs Crocodile: A Story of Survival

Jon Becker is a clean energy entrepreneur from Boulder, Colorado. For 15 years, he has owned a home in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, a small surf town on the country’s northern Pacific coast.

Becker has spent countless hours surfing the breaks off Tamarindo’s beaches. July 22, 2016 started off no differently than any other day. He woke up early and surfed for a couple of hours with a good friend. But as he paddled back, suddenly he was pulled under the water.

What ensued was a life-or-death fight for survival with an 8-foot crocodile. Becker nearly drowned and sustained bites all over his body. At one point the crocodile had Becker's head in its mouth. Becker escaped with his life, but his right leg was so severely damaged it had to be amputated just below the knee.

Becker was determined to get back to his outdoor passions. He dedicated himself to physical therapy with his new prosthetic leg. He returned to mountain biking and kayaking. Then, less than a year after the attack, he went back to the beach where it happened to return to the water.

  • Drew Petrimoulx
  • Drew Petrimoulx
  • Drew Petrimoulx
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes 11 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 22, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Costa Rica
  • Country of Filming:
    Costa Rica, United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Tamarindo International Surf Film Festival
    Costa Rica
    March 13, 2020
Director Biography - Drew Petrimoulx

Drew Petrimoulx was born and raised in Tampa, FL. He fell in love with journalism while studying political science at the University of Central Florida.

He caught his first break covering a high-profile murder trial in Orlando, FL. His career in journalism took him from across the US where he reported on a broad array of topics including natural disasters, education, court systems, and politics.

After spending 10 years in TV news, Drew was ready for something different. He packed his bags and set out on a six-month journey across Latin America. Along the way, he heard a story about an American surfer who was attacked by a crocodile and returned a year later to surf again on his prosthetic leg. Drew just had to know more.

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Director Statement

"Jon is such an inspirational guy. He survived the attack through sheer grit and determination. Throughout the rehabilitation process, he maintained the infectious positive attitude that endears him to the people around him. It was an honor to tell his story."