As a youth, Jesse Billauer was blessed with the desire and coordination to excel at a wide range of sports in his hometown of Pacific Palisades. Jesse Billauer developed a reputation as a star athlete in sports like baseball, soccer, and floor hockey. In baseball and soccer he played up to the high school level until surfing became his true life passion. In floor hockey he had one season where he was known as “Wayne Gretzky” for his domination of the league’s titles and needed a shopping cart to carry away all the trophies he received at the season ending awards banquet. In his spare time, Jesse Billauer spent some time snowboarding, water/snow skiing, and playing ice hockey.
With time, he developed a fascination for the water. It seemed to hold a special place in his psyche. It soothed and relaxed him. It was his source of strength. It was where he wanted to be when he wanted to be alone, to contemplate, to problem solve.
Jesse Billauer started surfing around the age of nine. It was his brother Josh and friend John Hearne (Brendan Hearne’s father) who first exposed him to what the ocean had to offer. It was love at first site. Before long, it became his passion at the expense of almost all other activities. Originally they surfed only Topanga, but with time could be found anywhere up and down the coast. His favorite spots included Point Mugu Military Base, Zuma, and Supertubes.
With his love for the ocean, including fishing and surfing, Jesse Billauer wanted to give something back. At the age of 16, Jesse Billauer became the youngest member of the California State Lifeguard team. This coveted and difficult job was one of his proudest accomplishments. He competed against men and women twice his age in beach runs, swims, and paddling contests. By the mid 90’s, Surfer Magazine had labeled him as one of the Top 100 up and coming surfers in the world.
Jesse Billauer’s entry into the world of public speaking came from the personal desire and will to share his life experiences with others. Being only 17 years of age when struck with a spinal cord injury, Jesse Billauer knew early on that his life was forever changed. His motivational speaking spans topics that reach and respect the young minds of students all over, and create a connection that inspires them to realize that there is more to life than most people believe.
He’s quickly becoming known internationally for his warmth, energy and openness in his speaking engagements. Jesse Billauer brings his vast experiences from the world of being a professional athlete to surviving a spinal cord injury into schools in a way young people can relate.
Jesse Billauer shares his life experiences in such a manner as to impress upon young adults the fragility of life, and the need to appreciate the benefits of a healthy living. He poses ethical questions in a thought provoking manner to teach values and respect for family, friends, strangers, and self. For the future, Jesse Billauer looks forward to meeting as many new people and friends as he can.
After Jesse pioneered his own way back to surfing, he realized he needed to give other people with paralysis the same freedom, the same pure happiness of catching a wave. With a few fearless friends, Life Rolls On began as a splash into the unknown on … of all mornings … September 11, 2001. The “band of brothers” contemplated calling the whole thing off on that fateful day, but decided to charge the waves as a salute to freedom.
Today, Jesse brings that same fearless outlook to everything he does, and every life he touches. He continues to lead his visionary organization as Executive Director & CEO. Life Rolls On is a 501c3 nonprofit. All athletes participate FREE of charge.