Big wave surfing


Big wave surfing

Big wave surfing is a discipline in surfing where surfers paddle into or are towed onto waves which are at least 20 feet (6.2 m) high, on surf boards known as "guns" or "rhino chasers". The bigger the wave, the faster it travels, and the bigger the surf board needed to catch it. A larger board allows a rider to paddle fast enough to catch the wave and has the advantage of being more stable, but it also limits their maneuverability.

This discipline in surfing was the origin of the cross-over sport known as tow-in surfing. While many riders participate in both sports, they remain very distinct activities. Tow-In Surfing is only for the most experienced of big wave surfers.

Hazards of big wave surfing

In a big wave wipeout, a breaking wave can push surfers down 20 to 50 feet(6.2 m to 15.5 m) below the surface. Once they stop spinning around, they have to quickly regain their equilibrium and figure out which way is up. They may have less than 20 seconds to get to the surface for a breath of air before the next wave hits them. Additionally, the water pressure at a depth of 20-50 feet can be strong enough to rupture one's eardrums. Strong currents and water action at those depths can also slam a surfer into a reef or even the floor, which can result in severe injuries or even death.

One of the greatest dangers is the risk of being held down by two or more consecutive waves without the chance to reach the surface for air. Surviving a triple hold-down is extremely difficult, which is why it is important to know how to swim out of these situations.

These hazards have caused several big-wave surfers to die. Some of the most notable are Mark Foo, who died surfing Mavericks on December 23rd, 1994; Donnie Solomon, who died exactly a year later at Waimea Bay; Todd Chesser who died at Alligator Rock on the North Shore of Oahu on February 14th, 1997; and Peter Davi who died at Ghost Trees on December 4, 2007 [http://surfermag.com/features/onlineexclusives/peter-davi-ghost-tree/] [http://www.surfline.com/surfnews/article.cfm?id=12639] .

Notable big wave surfing spots

*Waimea Bay, Hawaii
*Mavericks, California
*Ghost Trees, California
*Nelscott Reef, Lincoln City, Oregon, USA
*Teahupoo, Tahiti
*Peahi, aka, Jaws, Hawaii
*Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania, Australia
*Pico Alto, Lima, Peru
*Aill na Searrach, Ireland (AKA " Aileens")
*Hout Bay, South Africa (AKA "Dungeons")
*Cyclops, Western Australia, Australia
*Cowaramup Bombie, Western Australia, Australia
*Outside Log Cabins, Hawaii (largest wave, 85 feet, on record caught here)
*Kaena Pt., Hawaii
*Outer Reefs of Oahu , Hawaii
*Playa Gris, Basque Country, Spain
*Roca Puta, Basque Country, Spain
*Punta de Lobos, Chile
*Belharra, France
*Todos Santos, Baja, Mexico
*Tres Palmas, Rincon, Puerto Rico

Noted big wave surfers

*Ken "Skindog" Collins
*Titus (Nihi) Kinimaka
*Mike Parsons
*Laird Hamilton
*Eddie Aikau
*Ken Bradshaw
*Jeff Clark
*Shane Dorian
*Alexander Levi`deceased
*Mark Foo
*Greg Noll
*Milton and Michael Willis
*Ross Clarke-Jones
*Cheyne Horan
*Koby Abberton
*John McCarthy
*Bob Pike
*Jack Pomeroy
*Carlos Burle
*Rodrigo Resende
*Rudy Zarzoff
*Tobia Martens
*Grant Baker
*Mark Visser

Big wave surfing movies

*Riding Giants (2004)
*Billabong Odyssey (2004)
*
*In God's Hands (1998, fiction)The whole 50-60's crew from S. Ca. Wind n Sea crewRaleigh Thompson Productions

References

* Matt Warshaw: "Mavericks: the story of big-wave surfing", Chronicle Books, ISBN 0-8118-2652-XBruce Jenkins 'North Shore Chronicles'

ee also

* Diving hazards and precautions

External links

* [http://www.clubofthewaves.com/culture_bigwave.php Big wave surfers]
* [http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/conditionblack/interview.html Wave Warrior] (pbs.org)
* [http://www.coastview.com.au/site/vt_gallery/category/C18/ Shipstern photo gallery]
* [http://www.globalsurfing.co.uk/top-7-most-dangerous-surf-wipeouts-caught-on-camera/ Most biggest dangerous surf wipeouts caught on camera]
* [http://www.surfbarrel.com/ Surfing Forum]
* [http://www.extremehorizon.com/bigwaves.asp Summary of the world's biggest surfing waves]


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