Freak Waves

craner

Beast of Burden
Look at these waves:

<img src="http://www.westcoastsurfclub.com/articles/XXL/FredBasseBelharra.jpg">

<img src="http://www.westcoastsurfclub.com/articles/XXL/stjean03LG.jpg">

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.
 

sufi

lala
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.....
 

nick.K

gabba survivor
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
 

sufi

lala
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.....

 

craner

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

craner

Beast of Burden
<img src="http://www.the-daily-dose.com/people/hamilton/ha01-01-01.jpg">

Laird Hamilton in Taihiti.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
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:

craner

Beast of Burden
More vortex than wave.

<img src="http://www.echonews.com/909/images/surf_film_festival.jpg">

I hate surfers, though.
 
Last edited:

nick.K

gabba survivor
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
 

craner

Beast of Burden
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.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
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.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
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!
 

craner

Beast of Burden
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.
 

mms

sometimes
HMGovt said:
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.
 

mms

sometimes
nick.K said:
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
too right, at sixthform you could draw lines where different groups of surfers from different towns sat, aggie lot there, porthtowan there, perranporth etc, and the girls that flocked around them, and they had nothing interesting to say, they all just sat and looked over at each other.
i was too far from the coast and too skint and skinny to do that stuff too much, spent all my cash on records anyway, and skated, which was the scuzzy, rejecting the spiritual vibe thing version, much more practical and hardline.
Surfers ruined every party that might possibly be great with that fkin blood sugar sex album.


do you know what the experience of skating compared to snowboarding is, i really want to do that cos apparently you can get alot of speed up and one of the things i really liked about skating was maximum speed.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
The first reactions of most surfers to Asia's tsunamis would be "how big are they?" and "are they ridable?"

I'm not joking. That is their perspective.
 

originaldrum

from start till done
the thing i noticed about the waves in thailand was that they were not so big (think hollywood movie, or bollywood even) , but there was so many of them , kind of like a whole bunch a medium sized waves, and like the tide was coming in real quick, real quick.

the smell is supposed to be attrocious, dead cats n dogs , and humans all mixed together, a nasty brew if you ask me...
 

Woebot

Administrator
Staff member
originaldrum said:
the thing i noticed about the waves in thailand was that they were not so big (think hollywood movie, or bollywood even) , but there was so many of them , kind of like a whole bunch a medium sized waves, and like the tide was coming in real quick, real quick.

the smell is supposed to be attrocious, dead cats n dogs , and humans all mixed together, a nasty brew if you ask me...
got a text message from my friend joe who is in thailand at the moment and who i've been working with over the past month. his hotel was destroyed and he had to run from the waves!!! c.fifty died. he'd got up late and missed the boat to koh pi pi where hundreds died.

whats the death toll now 100,000. its just absolutely mental. gonna dig deep and cough up a few bob. ive been to those beaches in thailand and theyre lovely. what did the us govt give? 35 million! laughable! itd buy a hotel!!!
 
Top