Category Archives: Big Wave

Dailystoke goes to Mainland Mexico: Toobs ensue


When my old buddy Chris suggested I jump on a last minute $300 flight to Colima, on the central West Coast of Mainland Mexico, I really couldn’t give him any answer but, “How big of boards should I bring?”

“Well, give the fact that we’re going to have access to a jet ski the whole time we’re there should eliminate the need for the big guns.”

“Jet ski? Like step-offs? This just keeps getting better!”

“Yeah, pack your bags, we leave from Tijuana at 2:00 am Tuesday.”

Two days later we were crossing the US-Mexico border at San Ysidro bound for warm water solitary waves. The forecast looked promising, with a solid 5-8 ft 14 second period NW on its way to meet us.

We landed at about sunrise, and were met by a certain incognito ex-pat big wave surfer who would be our guide for the week (to protect the innocent, and more importantly, the guilty, names have been omitted). We headed straight westward and were in the water with the ski as quickly as possible to avoid the predictable onshore noon wind. The waves were pumping, the water was 80, I’ll just let the photos do the talking…

Chris scoping the scene.

PK slotted.

PK looking pretty comfortable in there.

PK in his happy place.

Chris with some steez on a sandy one.

Gopro Hero3 FTW

Chris with a hell of a view.

Finally Reid whips into a round one!

Chris closes out the trip with a clean little one.

Paradise, really.  I’ve already booked my flight for July to go back.


Garret McNamara Biggest Wave Ever? We’re Not So Sure, Hold The Applause


“Half the people think I’m out of my mind … and half are just – I think they all think I’m crazy, actually.”  -Garret McNamara after riding 90-foot beast off the coast of Nazare, Portugal

All the media outlets (alot of people in suits) are claiming Garret McNamara rode the biggest wave on record off the coast of Portugal.  In the video below, Garret tows into a massive slab in Praia do Norte off the cost of Portugal.  Garret and crew worked with the Portugese Hydrographic Institute studying this area before their latest sessions.  Praia do Norte is a bit of a phenomenon because the waves get super-amped due to the underwater canyons.   “This one just jacked up, broke, actually kind of barreled, and went to run me over, and somehow by the grace of God, I made it”, Garret told ABC after riding it.  “When I rode the wave I didn’t know how big it was and then it landed on me at the very end,” Garret said.  “It was like a ton of bricks on my shoulders and that’s when I realized if I had fallen it could have been really bad.”  Check out the video (it sounds better in Portugese, and this reporter is a looker):

We’ve heard this may end up in the Guiness Book of World Records (they still around?).  What Garret, now 44-years young, did is no question one of the biggest rides of all time.  But wave height is always in dispute.  Mike Parsons rode an 80+ footer at Cortes bank back in 2008, and that ride stands as the biggest wave ever ridden – even though Ken Bradshaw rode an 85 footer in Hawaii in 1998.   Parson’s wave looks bigger than Garret’s wave to me on video, but who knows with all the camera angles – and maybe we’re spending too much time debating this?  Garret’s ride will be entered into the Billabong XXL Global Big-Wave Awards, and then all this wave height stuff will be decided.  Until its officially decided: Parsons — you rode the largest wave ever.

Aamion Goodwin got burned & injured at Pipe by some Kook


Kauai boy Aamion Goodwin copped one of the worst beatings amongst pros after being dropped in on at Pipeline.  As you can see in the various frame grabs, Aamion pulled in super deep into a big grinding left.  He tucked in, set his rail, and began charging through for the daylight at the far, far end of the tunnel.  Unfortunately for him, some unknown shoulder hopping douchebag thought it would be nice to drop in a few seconds later and take the elevator drop straight to the bottom.  Said douche then caught a rail and did his best impression of complete assbag, by proceeding to bellyflop in front of our unsuspecting pro.  Aamion charged through, and apparently partially over the turd before copping the full force of the lip on the head.  Poor Aamion was then sidelined with serious knee issues, while the kook that burned him was probably safely back home on the mainland.  Someone name this prick so we can send him his douche of the year award.

I can’t believe they had the balls to make the drop on those logs


Some vintage footage of surfers at Sunset, Pipe, Waiamea in the 1960s, including George Downing, Ricky Grigg, Greg Noll and Mike Doyle. As the narrator says a couple of looooooong rides into this video: “And that’s what you call really getting stoked.” Stoked indeed. This surfing vid is a beaut. The best part is watching what appears to be Greg Noll doing a drop-knee turn on his surfboard. At Pipe.

Surf Movie Review: Storm Surfers New Zealand, a Sick Flick


We at got our hands on an advance copy of Storm Surfers New Zealand, which is coming out Wednesday on the Discovery Channel.  Stoked!!  We love Storm Surfers and this film is, well, pretty sick….and Tom Carroll and Ross Clark-Jones are, well, pretty sick too.   

OK, OK…so to get to our surf spot today we need to, uh…fly a bazillion miles, then make our way up river for what seems like another bazillion miles, then get through some rapids, then do some helicopter recon missions, then wait for a road to open after avalanche blasting (yes, I said avalanche, as in snow!) and then we will crash at an old abandoned school in the middle of nowhere.  But the surf is going to be insane!!  That’s the movie in a nutshell. 

The movie was shot in New Zealand, the undisputed most beautiful place on earth, with some amazing footage.  But before Tom and Ross get to NZ, they are chasing swells in Tasmania and doing “warm-ups” on 25-footers at Pedra Branca.  Then they hit the west coast of NZ (Fiordland) where they hook up with local big-wave rider Ben Young, and surf forecaster Ben Matson, to surf Barn Bay and Yates Bay. 

Note: if you travel with these guys (a) you better know how to ride huge slabs, and (b) bring a good wetsuit because when they get to NZ, I was waiting for Jermey Jones to appear and Ross & Tom to go snowboarding, as all you see is snow capped mountains.  They end up surfing in 37F (3C) degree weather.   That’s dedication!!

 Of course there are good surf shots in this movie, but what really makes it stand out is you get an up close on all the trouble these guys have to go through to get the big waves.  Not only do they have false starts with the weather after traveling via air, land, and sea and any other means, they have to go on REALLY long journeys just to get to these remote places (good news: no kooks when you get there!).  They finally end up at Yates Point, which is a pretty crazy place to be surfing: there are 6,500 ft (2,000m) mountains right at the coastline so the water is deep as hell – apparently it’s some of the deepest shoreline in the world.  They end up finding the huge waves, but have to suffer through a hail storm and 40mph+ winds.  No problem at all. 

For shapers, there is a section in the movie where Tom meets up with Andy DeVille, a guy that designs Americas Cup yachts, and they experiment with using V-shaped hull-like designs from a boat on a surfboard – to help Tom cut through choppy seas.  They end up designing a board made entirely of cedar.

Storm Surfers New Zealand will be premiering on the Discovery Channel Wednesday @ 8:30PM EST so check that sh!t out!!  You can also check out their website  and let’s keep supporting Tom and Ross so we can get more Storm Surfers.  We can’t wait for the next one!

A 3D aerial view of Jaws


AerialPan, a Washington company, has taken some pretty cool shots of Peahi aka Jaws in Maui using a remote control helicopter. A screen grab is pasted here, but to get the full effect, you should check it out at the link below. And while it’s not an epic day at Jaws by any stretch, it’s still pretty damn cool. This is as close to surfing Jaws as you’ll get from sitting at your computer. Check out the 3D version here.

Not the best of places to be… Crazy Wipeout


“Is that jet-ski gonna hit my head? Is that jet-ski gonna hit my head?!” That’s what I would be thinking through the whole wipeout. Forget the razor-sharp shallow reef, or the set lurking behind, there’s a jet-ski on the wave too! Really, this would be my number one fear if I were to ever surf big waves. It’s just a scary thought… kind of disturbing. Just like the other jet-ski accident when Raimana almost died.

But we’ve all seen that video. Now excuse me, but there’s a tow-at being held at my break and I gotta go!!!

“Nothing better than sex and tube rides” -Mark Richards: XXL EVENT COVERAGE

Share was invited to attend the Billabong XXL Big Wave awards – so my photographer and I scored some all access media passes to the ridiculous festivities surrounding the Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards.  Freakin’ sweetness.  If you ignored my recommendation to watch the webcast, here’s the recap from a first person perspective.

After fighting 2 hours of S.D. to O.C. Friday afternoon commuter traffic, we finally arrived at the Grove Theater in the shadow of Angel’s Stadium.  Unfortunately for my parking karma, I was not driving a lime green Lamborghini, or a bus that said “MONSTER ENERGY DRINK” on it, so I was ushered to the back lot and away from the red carpet.  “Six bucks?  But I’m with the!”  The parking attendant wasn’t amused…

I gotta be honest with everyone.  My initial gut reaction…”Holy sh*t what a bunch of O.C. posers”  Yes, I understand that surfing has become a glamour sport that Dolce and Gabana and the like use to sell everything from sunglasses to sequined handbags, but that is certainly not the culture I participate in.  I definitely have never seen more Ed Hardy on middle aged men. Anyway, enough social commentary outta me, back to the event.

Billabong put together a multimedia “Big Wave Year In Review” presentation that would put Riding Giants to shame.  No storyline, no ridiculous commentary, just amazing displays of skill, athletic prowess, and b*lls.  Like any amazing surf porn premier, participating in the film with the audience is half the fun.  There’s something about watching Ross Clarke-Jones become the lip at Shipsterns in High Definition.

The presentation highlight for me was definitely Greg Noll, Da Bull.  He was saying that these guys are crazy, but I’d like to see any of the nominees drop 2 tabs of sunshine acid and paddle out in 40 foot Waimea Bay on a 8 foot single fin with no leash, no ski support, and no cameras.  That is crazy.  Mike Parsons nailed it though when he said, “Luck and balls have replaced skill and finesse.”

The winners of each category were all quite deserving.  The photo snapped of Mark Healy’s head peaking at us from the pit at the Yeti in Oregon won him Monster Tube.  Derek Dunfee, a La Jolla local,  snagged Monster Paddle for his Mav’s bomb.  Best Performer and Biggest wave both went to Grant “Twiggy” Baker for his overall season and subsequent 61′ goliath at Tafelberg Reef in South Africa.  The Ride of the Year and $50K went deservingly to the only paddle in contender of the final 5, Greg Long, on a sharky, cold, cavern of a barrel at Dungeons in S. Africa.  I think had the Californian not won, there may have been a riot in the audience judging by the crowd’s reactions.  Lucky, the seasoned judges chose wisely and the REAL festivities began.

The DJ’s cranked the crunk beats, the kiddies and their parents drove back to Newport, and all 8 Monster flavors flowed like wine.  Billabong sure knows how to make their employees and customers forget the economy: Killer big wave footage, short dresses, and lots of caffeine…simple pleasures.

Keep Leucadia Funky


Can’t make it to the Billabong XXL Awards Ceremony? Webcast that $h*t!


So if you’re like me, and your GoPro ran out of batteries right as you got whipped into a 65 foot bomb at Cortez Bank, then you probably didn’t get an invite to the event of all events in the big wave world this year.  There is however, a consolation that will allow you to live vicariously through the likes of Brian Conley, Greg Long, and all the other chargers that have bigger cojones than you have, (and thus attend cooler parties than you do.)  You can check out all the festivities simply by catching Billabong’s webcast live coverage of the awards ceremony in its entirety starting at 7:00 p.m. at this CLICKY LINKY. Lucky for me and my camera, ’cause we’ll be there… (bad luck, I baaaarely qualify for press status at the event and will be watching from the back of the room…probably standing right next to Pauly Shore, or Carrot Top).  Stay tuned for Daily Stoke’s day after and hungover coverage of the Orange County event.

If you haven’t checked out the videos of the contenders for this year’s drinkin’ money and bragging rights, you’re honestly missing out.  The Mav’s contest may not have happened this year, but the true searchers managed to be at the right place at the right time, and lived to tell about it.

Keep Leucadia Funky

The Body-surfer’s Accessory


When the waves are not surfable with a board, but just right for body-surfing, I ran into this fun, little accessory. It’s a mini-surfboard that straps to your hand, so you can get the ultimate body-surf! Plus it comes with fins! I haven’t actually tried it out yet, but I already have the perfect break in mind! Supposedly, the combination of the fins, plus the super-glidy mini-board, makes you just cruise, cruise, cruise. Or, if you want to get super, super high tech and have the ultimate, ULTIMATE body surf experience, you can go for the wave blades!!  Maybe a little crazy, but looks pretty rad to me!! Any takers?

Brian Conley holds a cam, gets shacked, and lives to show the film. Wow.


Wow. Spotted this from Billabong, courtesy of Boardistan. Brian Conley, of My Eyes Won’t Dry fame, shot this truly sick footage of him getting dropped into a Boca Grande muy grande ola . Whatevs. Except that Conley is holding a camera (at the right angle, I might add) and documents the drop and him getting shacked. Any just as you might think its going to close on him, no. No. Conley gets shot out. The angle from the boat just shows how sick Brian Conley’s abilities as a surfer are. Watch it again. I haven’t even finished the rest of the Billabong Big Wave Contest thingy. More on that later.

Sweet Outer Banks video


Sometimes you get tired of watching guys surf perfect reef breaks that peel perfectly. With hurricane swells, hairy drops, and broken boards, the Outer Banks is a real treat to watch. It’s basically like Pipeline, except with brown water, and closeouts, and barrels, and crazy barrels, and airs, and snaps, cutbacks, carves and floaters, and sketchy wipeouts… All of this over sand! What are you surfing? Rincon? Pfff! I’m not jealous when the Outer Banks is a few hour’s drive away (okay, maybe I’m a little jealous).

Red Bull introduces Teahupoo to the masses


I was watching t.v. the other day when I noticed the unmistakable Teahupoo flick on in front of me, with surfer Ian Walsh riding the thing. That’s a pretty intense wave, no doubt that he could’ve easily died if he wiped out on that one. Maybe the Red Bull kept him from falling. I personally have never touched an energy drink (Red Bull, Monster, Throttle, etc.). Don’t ask me why, but I feel satisfaction from knowing my energy is pure and de-caffeinated. I hear those drinks screw you up… but I am glad that the average couch potato gets to see what they’re missing out on (the surfing, not the Red Bull).

Speaking of Laird…re-visit this.


I thought this would be appropriate (since we currently have a feature interview with Surf God Laird Hamilton up that you should review) and it’s THE heaviest freakin’ ride EVER! What really struck me about this clip is Pat Curren (Tom’s dad) admitting he could never have ridden that wave – Whoa! – I’ve met Pat in the dunes of Baja and although I know he’s a humble guy deep down I’d never have expected him to bow to another regarding big wave riding. He’s one stubborn ol’ mule of a big wave charger, STILL charging triple-overhead storm surf to this day!

Ryan Hipwood has Skillz. Yes, I said “skillz.”


This guy must have been like the happiest guy in the world when he made this drop. He looked like a freakin’ bird! He probably like had the biggest block party that night just for that wave. It was just amazing how he stuck the landing like it was an ollie. Most people fall when that step ladder catapults them into the abyss. But keep in mind that he’s strapped to his board. Guys who surf Mavericks have no chance with airdrops (except a few immortals) because the wind catches the board and it goes flying away (hopefully, not into your face). But still, even strapped in, air drops are hard.

Here are a few more unlucky ducklings…

Probably the heaviest paddle-in. EVER.

And what would be a Shipsterns post without wipeouts? Note the last wipeout which is an air drop.

The Myth of a Big Day: Surfing in New York


I really have to tip my hat to those hipsters at Vice Magazine. Their surfing show–Hi Shredability–routinely puts up engaging and refreshing videos on surfing and surfers. But this most recent video, Searching for Montauk, is timeless. And I don’t want to give all the credit to the producers because the surfer on the journey makes it a classic surfing story.

As all surf stories begin, there is rumor of an epic swell, a swell that only hits every five years. The only way to know if the waves will be 20 feet tall is to embark on a solo journey–even if you only have a 5’10” in the back of your van–a journey through the night to a spot you may never have surfed, where probably no one is out or will every be out. The fear of large waves and the anticipation of them coming plague your night and rob you of any sleep. The morning comes and proves that the rumors and your fears are true. The long hard road of failure amasses in front of you and it seems as if there will be no pay off for all your hard work.

But, this timeless story is timeless because it has a happy ending. There is a pay off for all your hardwork.

Admittedly this sounds a little cheesey, but I do think in a small way this story reminds us of the shared experiences we all have as surfers: Searching for Montauk.

“Skindog” vs. Jaws


Santa Cruz surfer Kenny “Skindog” Collins is a madman. He’s successfully established himself as a big-wave hellman with a knack for finding his line into cavernous tubes at places like Maverick‘s and Puerto Escondido (see this). Looks like he‘s finally met his match.

Clark Little featured on Good Morning America


Ocean sunsets, storms, and waves have always awe-inspired the casual observer, but now Clark Little is given the platform to share views typically reserved for those of us more intimate with wave activity.  Armed with the latest technology in water cameras, and many years of ocean knowledge, Clark clicks away in places that produce images needing no artificial enhancements.