Interesting that wave looks very solid and powerful but nothing like the size of some of the Hawaian waves.<img src="http://www.the-daily-dose.com/people/hamilton/ha01-01-01.jpg">
Laird Hamilton in Taihiti.
And thus does history repeat itself. (the 'talking to myself', that is)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.
Hmm, all of what you say makes sense until you try and think just exactly what it means. 'The entire Pacific Ocean is behind that wave': So too the Haiwaian waves build their size and strength by being able to travel vast distances unimpeded across the Pacific. And are you sure about that right hand as balance? One it doesn't actually look like he is touching the wave with it. And two, think about the mechanics of travelling down/across a wave.The wave is travelling forward, and you with it. How would using your trailing right hand to touch the wave - effectively corkscrewing your body in a clockwise motion back and around into the wave - help you. I can't picture it.The suggestion on Riding Giants was that the entire Pacific Ocean is behind that wave (that's why it's so dark and blue), and all that mass is moving fast, so fast and close that his right hand is touching the wave for balance, rather than his left, which you'd expect.
Odd to see this thread resurface - I was reading about this the other day. Waves rated due to the sheer weight of water that collapses over your head rather than their height.