At just 20, Clay Marzo is already seen as the most talented surfer of his generation. A new film explains how his condition could have given him a unique edge over his competitors. Guy Adams watches in awe
To see Clay Marzo drop into an enormous wave, carving under its barrelling lip then emerging, in a vibrant flash, to throw his surfboard into a series of elaborate leaps and twists, is to witness a jaw-dropping display of raw sporting talent.
Watch the professional surfer totter on to dry land, however, and an unfortunate transformation occurs. In the time it takes to shower and throw on a hooded top, he'll turn from swaggering athletic hero into an awkward, troubled recluse.
Sometimes, Marzo will sidestep autograph-seeking fans, rubbing his hands, or anxiously pulling at his hair. Other times, he might give a withdrawn TV interview that redefines the meaning of monosyllabic. Occasionally, he can even turn aggressive, or come across as just plain rude.