El Nino continues to give the Pacific the best big wave run in history and Jaws continues to give some bloody big hidings! Lucky for us mere mortals, the guys at Pure Digital Maui are on site to capture the carnage! Look out for our own Safa guys, with James Taylor and Simon “Coach” Lowe getting proper pounded.
Crazy Conditions On First Day, Wed. Jan. 27, 2016, Of Recent Giant El Nino Swell With Plenty Jaws Peahi Maui Wipeouts HD. Solid heavy rising swell through the day with the biggest sets (20+ft Hawaiian) going unridden & the the biggest set of the day coming in at end of the day with no one out. http://www.facebook.com/PureDigitalMedia
On Friday the game was changed at Jaws with one of the biggest and most perfect swells ever ridden in surfing. A huge crowd of chargers took it on, with a solid crew of Safa chargers, like Josh Redman in the mix. (Check him in the video.) Aaron Gold from the North Shore is being credited with possibly the biggest wave ever paddled into. Below is the video, with no music, which is actually super rad as you get a feel for what it is like up on the cliff watching live.
Just moments after the WSL Big Wave Awards and the level stepped up again with a session that is quickly going to shake the conventions of big wave surfing. Captured below is one of the craziest waves ever caught, ridden and then absolutely murdered on by a surfer. How this guys survived I simply cant imagine.
After a very busy year in Big Wave Surfing, it must have been hard to narrow down the finalists for the worst wipeout of the year. If we were going with pure size, then Benjamin Sanchis was a clear winner as his wave at Nazare was giant. For pure and immediate impact, Billy Kemper, with a guillotine lip to the head at Puerto looks pretty dam bad. Jaws and Mavericks wipeouts can never be sneezed at, but for me the giant cartwheel to death must be the worst kind of wipeout and my choice is Scott Dennis. Who do you think took it?
Who rode the biggest wave of the year in surfing? There were some monumental entries, but these were deemed the biggest by the WSL Big Wave Awards committee. In my opinion the biggest paddle waves eclipse these nominees (Posting tomorrow), but if I had to pick a winner, it will be Ross Clark-Jones. Making it around that white water was pretty dam impressive, even though Nazare always gives the impression of being soft compared to other big wave spots. I cant deny, it is a bloody big wave.
The awards for the most mental surfers on the planet approaches and these are the nominees for the Ride of the Year. While Brad Domke is pretty spectacular on his finless wonder, I think it is a 2 horse race between Shane Dorian, that drop at Puerto is crazy, and Dean Morrison, as if we are remembering it is the “Big Wave” awards and his wave at the Right is absolutely insane. I will be posting the awards nominees during the day and week.
The Big Wave World Tour did not have the best season with many of the “Jewel” events not running, but there were some crazy events and there must be a World Champion. With solid performances in the contests that did run and with one of the craziest drops in competition history, Hawaiian, Makua Rothman was named the Big Wave World Champion for 2014/15.
“We take our sport seriously and we want to be at that elite level,” says Makuakai Rothman about the world’s perception of surfers. We’re not beach bums. We train. We want to win.
And this year Makuakia Rothman wanted to win the WSL’s Big Wave Tour.
I have watched this over and over and cannot fathom how he made this wave! Absolutely incredible.
Benny Richardson (Clifton Beach, Tasmania) retains his composure through a madly distorting slab of a barrel and escapes the maelstrom at Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania, Australia on April 4, 2014. Video by Tim Bonython from the Australian Surf Film Festival. An entry in the Billabong Ride of the Year category of the 2015 XXL Big Wave Awards. For more information see www.WorldSurfLeague.com/XXL.
The internet has been a flutter with images and videos from the 2 days at Jaws, in Maui, last week. With some of the biggest and cleanest wave ever surfed, the South African crew of James Taylor, Mike Schlebach, James Lowe (See above), Matt Bromley, Grant Baker and Josh Redman all got some major coverage. It was Josh though, that absolutely blew up, getting two of the biggest tubes ever ridden out there in one session. Here is one of the better videos of the highlights of those 2 sessions…
The World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Tour (BWT) is green lighting the Pe’ahi Challenge in Maui, Hawaii for an 8 a.m. start (local time) this Thursday, January 22, 2015. Watch the world’s best big wave surfers riding giant waves live at WorldSurfLeague.com as a projected 30-to-40-foot swell descends upon the region.
Pe’ahi, also referred to as “Jaws”, breaks off the northern coastline of Maui with the ability to produce waves in excess of 60 feet. Although the break came to fame under the guise of tow-in, or jet-ski-assisted, surfing, a dedicated crew of paddle-in surfers have been pushing the boundaries of what is physically possible at the venue in recent years. Thursday’s Pe’ahi Challenge will be the first paddle-in event ever held at the infamous venue.
The 24-man field for the Pe’ahi Challenge will be comprised of the WSL BWT Top 12, led by reigning world champion Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker, as well as six WSL BWT wildcards and six local wildcards.
Top 12 WSL BWT Surfers:
1 – Grant Baker (ZAF)
2 – Ken Collins (USA)
3 – Nic Lamb (USA)
4 – Shawn Dollar (USA)
5 – Kohl Christensen (HAW)
6 – Alex Gray (USA)*
7 – Greg Long (USA)
8 – Ryan Augenstein (USA)
9 – Anthony Tashnick (USA)
10 – Ramon Navarro (CHL)
11 – Jamie Mitchell (AUS)
12 – Tyler Fox (USA)
*Adur Letamendia (EUK) will be filling in for Alex Gray who has withdrawn due to injury.
WSL BWT Wildcards: 1 – Kelly Slater (USA)
2 – Mark Healey (HAW)
3 – Shane Dorian (HAW)
4 – Dave Wassel (HAW)
5 – Makuakai Rothman (HAW)
5 – Gabriel Villaran (PER)
Pe’ahi Local Wildcards: 1 – Ian Walsh (HAW)
2 – Billy Kemper (HAW)
3 – Albee Layer (HAW)
4 – Shawn Walsh (HAW)
5 – Kai Lenny (HAW)
6 – Tyler Larronde (HAW)