Show filmed in La Jolla Shores documents ‘the best of humanity’

"Making Good" host Kirby Heyborne sings a song to participants in a Life Rolls On adaptive surf clinic at La Jolla Shores.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

La Jolla Shores is the backdrop for an upcoming episode of “Making Good,” a show that highlights nonprofits across America.

The “Making Good” crew was at The Shores on Sept. 17 to document an adaptive surf clinic facilitated by Life Rolls On, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that works through adaptive surfing and skating to improve the quality of life for people living with disabilities. The episode will be shown in January on BYUtv and the BYUtv app.

The host is Los Angeles actor and musician Kirby Heyborne, who meets up with the nonprofits for a few days to better understand what they do and help them fulfill their missions.

“One of the things I love about ‘Making Good’ over any other documentary series is it is genuine,” Heyborne told the La Jolla Light. “We see all aspects of the organization; it isn’t just stopping by for one day and seeing what happens. I get dirty, I get hurt, but I have a fun time and meet some of the most wonderful people.”

Life Rolls On founder Jesse Billauer (left) meets with "Making Good" host Kirby Heyborne.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

For the episode made in La Jolla, “Making Good” highlighted Life Rolls On as it offered the adaptive surf clinic with the help of more than 300 volunteers.

“There are a lot of smiles here and a lot of inspiring stories,” said Life Rolls On founder Jesse Billauer. “Surfing allows [participants] to have some of the freedom and independence they lost. The ocean is such a beautiful place, so being at the beach is already a good day, but to help people catch waves and glide on the surface of the water brings a lot of joy.”

Billauer added that La Jolla Shores is the “perfect place for this event” because of its shallow water, approachable waves and long beach.

Billauer, once one of the top 100 junior surfers in the world, was thrown headfirst into a shallow sandbar while surfing off Malibu in 1996. The impact broke a vertebra and he instantly became a quadriplegic. He founded Life Rolls On five years later.

The organization’s volunteers “work so hard, but they love doing it,” Heyborne said. “I asked a bunch of the volunteers why they keep coming back and they say it is the atmosphere and the smile on the athletes’ faces. … There is a spirit of kindness here.”

Life Rolls On volunteers prepare to take a surfer out on the waves with adaptive equipment.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

In his four seasons of hosting “Making Good,” Heyborne has learned that “volunteering is healing,” he said. “That’s what we hope people will learn from ‘Making Good’ — if they want to feel better, they should go out and volunteer.”

Heyborne, an actor for 21 years, said hosting “Making Good” is “the best thing I have ever been a part of. It’s the best of humanity.”

The Life Rolls On surf clinic had “a sense of community and acceptance and connectedness,” Heyborne said. “There is something about the water and the people being here with the right heart; there is a spiritual connection.”

In addition to highlighting Life Rolls On, Heyborne said he wanted to film in La Jolla because “my family and I come here on vacation often. We love La Jolla. The people are always amazing.”

The entire “Making Good” series so far is available for viewing at ◆