By Abigail Abrams
April 20, 2018

In 1978, American surfer John Ritter was exploring the waters of the South Pacific when he came across something incredible: a totally uncharted wave. He discovered the left hand reef break between the Fijian islands of Namotu and Tavarua, and decided to stop his journey to surf the wave for three straight weeks. His discovery ultimately became the famed Cloudbreak wave.

While Ritter continued surfing and exploring the world’s oceans, he did not return to Cloudbreak for nearly 40 years. Now the surfer is working with filmmakers to retrace his original path across Samoa, Tonga and Fiji in a three-part series called Nakuru Kuru: Discovering Cloudbreak. The prologue, Nakuru Kuru: Awakening, is a virtual reality experience that launches Friday in honor of Earth Day this weekend.

To watch the full experience and explore more exclusive virtual reality content download the LIFE VR app for iOS and Android or visit time.com/lifevr. You can also visit the LIFE VR channel on Samsung VR and the LIFE VR app on Windows MR.

Write to Abigail Abrams at abigail.abrams@time.com.

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