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Thread: Freak Waves

  1. #1

    Default Freak Waves

    Look at these waves:





    Waimea Bay, right? Or Jaws, or Phantoms, or some other reef off the North Shore?

    No. Guess again.

    These photos were taken on the French Coast in 2002, at Belharra Reef, when a "prefect storm" in the Atlantic sent this enormous swell smack into France. The Frenchman rdiing them in the photos were all unknowns, but these are some of the biggest waves ever ridden outside the North Shore.

    I love these photos. They remind me of growing up in Swansea.

  2. #2
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    Aye me gnarly hearties

    i learnt a lickle bit of surfing down west wales meself, in lovely pembrokeshire:
    with Mike 'the wind' a strangely lyrical windsurfing champion, who could tell which way the wind was blowing from the shapes of the ripples on the sea.

    what lickle skills i gleaned were sorely tested here, which i can exclusively predict will be nex year's destination on the aloha honalulu rountheworld surf-bum tour:

    fort dauphin, south tip of madagascar, where the antartic ocean meets the indian ocean and the mozambique canal about 10 days on public transport from the capital through roadless hills, forest, desert, mountains etc...

    seems like things have developed since then - there are surf lodges and shit, back then there were ony 2 surfboards in the City (& one was snapped in 1/2), owned by guy, a rasta who hung out at the ecole des jeunes filles and was coincidentally our main contact for jamala...

    so with guy & my old mucka bob, (who looked the part in torn up old jeans, 1/2 a bad brains hoody and straggling barnet and beard & was known as jesosy by all malagasy & sundry) we clambered down a shit strewn cliff on the edge of town to the beach.
    it seems (from swift research on the webber) that this beach is known as Venom Bay, however we didn't know that at the time.
    anyway, i got in there as surf was up got dumped mercilessly and was lucky to get away with a shiner not a broken neck..

    i also got sunburnt on malibu beach, but that's another boring surfing tale.....

  3. #3
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    we used to drive out to the gower on the weekends, driving past port talbot at night, which is like riding a concrete ribbon over the opening titles of blade runner. down at the beach we'd play, adventure, collect wood and get lost, then light fires, eat well and play footie when the logs had burnt down to glowing balls. there's nothing like playing kick-up alone with a fire ball at night. of course these hor d'oeuvres couldn't compare to the main event: watching the sun rise along the coast. let's hope no one else finds out about it.

    i'd do it again. anytime

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  5. #4
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    Aye shiver me timbers and pass me scrimshaw - west wales posse

    er i wuz never rilly that much of a sufrer olly - y'know i just idolised the lifestyle & not to mention being on the wrong side of the severn

    mind you i always kinda fancied to ride the bore.....


  6. #5

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    Well I'll be watching 'Riding Giants' at Camden Odeon tonight. I'm excited already!

  7. #6

    Default



    Laird Hamilton in Taihiti.

  8. #7

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    So Laird's Tahiti wave (above) ends the film and it's even sicker when you see the thing in motion.

    After 2 hours of men toppling down 50-100ft wave faces, the "holy fuck" factor begins the wane, until you see this one.

    Also: beautfiul 8mm footage of Greg Noll and his mates tackling Waimea Bay for the first time in the 50s with a demented noncholance, and stealing pineapples and catching big fish because they didn't have any money and there were no shops there anyway then: a virgin North Shore. Noll's photos and recollections of the 1969 '100 yr Storm' AND his insane, legendary wave at Pipeline's second reef ON FILM!!!!

    Jeff Clark at Mavericks off Northern California, a reef he surfed alone for 15 years, because nobody would believe him when he said it was there.

    Superb!
    Last edited by craner; 08-12-2004 at 07:37 PM. Reason: I can't be satisfied

  9. #8

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    More vortex than wave.



    I hate surfers, though.
    Last edited by craner; 16-11-2005 at 04:58 PM.

  10. #9
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    surfers in my experience = bad news: passive aggressive, narcissistic, territorial, just leave 'em be. the actual surfing experience is up there with skateboarding, but it's not really possible to do it in London. I'll stick to watching crystal voyager

  11. #10

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    To get back to Laird's Tahiti wave. I'm transfixed by it. As was everyone when the photos came out. I think every surf rag that month ran the pictures. One cover simply ran a photo with the headline: "Oh. My. God."

    Greg Noll in the film, who calls Laird the greatest big wave surfer ever, when, really, he is, said "I saw it and said, no way, that shit's impossible"

    Because it's a freak wave. It's not meant to be surfed. If you're fit enough, and surfing Waimea 20 ft +, you can generally survive if you wipe out. Mavericks too, but that's harder, because of the jagged rocks and the cliff face that the gigantic waves run into. Mark Foo died there, remember.

    But the Tahiti break, at that size, is a killer. Fall off, you die. However massive you are, your bones break like twigs. A lot of surfers have died there.

    It took a while for Laird to recover. There's footage of him sitting on the jet ski after that wave, in tears. Apparently, for weeks after, he talked in an edgy 'anger management' style whisper.

    Then he surfed 40 ft jaws again, and he was alright.

    Laird Hamilton is fucking bananas! Gotta love him, though! What a weird life!

    I realise I'm talking to myself here, by the way.

  12. #11

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    By the way, for those who don't know, waves are measured from the back. So 40ft can have a 50 to - say - 100ft face.

    So you see a wave that looks as high as a skyscraper, and experienced surfers say, yeah, a 30ft swell, and you're like, what the fuck? 30ft? Are you blind?

    Generally, though they aren't. Well, I've never known a blind surfer.

  13. #12
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    Guess where?

    Newquay (last week)
    Last edited by HMGovt; 19-12-2004 at 12:15 AM.

  14. #13

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    Wow!

    It's a bit sad though, isn't it, that only one guy got to (or was good enough to) tackle this swell.

    Freak waves! I applaud you HMGov! True to the thread title!

  15. #14

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    I once told a work colleague (and good friend) that my one true ambition was to catch a tidal wave on camcorder. He was depressed for about two weeks after, and could barely look me in the eye.

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by HMGovt


    Guess where?

    Newquay (last week)
    yep newquay. i was down there a few weeks ago for my sisters wedding and it was horrible horrible there, altho the wedding was lovely.
    blissblogger wrote in his second to latest entry about englanders creating their own bit of sunshine, the design or rather look of places like newquay is a prime example of just how desperate people are to do this, and how badly they fail.
    "i'm just painting the clouds with sunshine"
    30 feet clean breaks get put into perspective by the 'asian tsunami' though eh?
    the planet reconfigures itself from the inside, and wipes out population and animals.
    simple as that.

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