If riding the waves is religion for most surfers, Jack Johnson has risen above God. As the son of legendary longboarder Jeff Johnson, the native Hawaiian was practically born in the surfing spotlight, scoring a sponsorship from Quiksilver and winning championships against men twice his age. When a nasty wipeout at 17 nearly ended his career -- and his life -- Johnson made a choice to abandon his board, at least professionally, in favor of a video camera, which he put to use as a film student at the University of California at Santa Barbara. The multitalented Johnson could have led a dull life directing safety videos and used-car ads; instead he launched a successful documentary career, directing two renowned films about -- you guessed it -- surfing. But even after such a fairy-tale rise to stardom in the surfing and filmmaking underground, it was Johnson's thicker-than-water vocals and beach-campfire songwriting -- not to mention a little help from his friends and mentors G. Love and Ben Harper -- that rocketed the laid-back islander to worldwide fame.