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2018 Editor’s Picks: Surf

The modern surf season never ends. Thanks to relatively painless transportation, advanced swell tracking methods and good sponsors dishing out dough to their athletes, surfers can basically get anywhere in the world on a day's notice to catch a swell. And that's great for us because we get to watch them all year long and report on it. 2018 saw a ton of great waves, way too many to count in fact, but here’s a list of our top 5.


1. Drone Footage of Nazaré Reveals Just How Terrifying ‘Big Mama’ Can Be:

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I think it would be fair to say that Nazaré is the most exciting wave in surfing right now. The Portuguese monster is hard to turn your eyes from. It seems like every time we hear news of Nazaré, it's just pure jaw-dropping carnage. This drone footage is no different. 


2. World Record For Largest Wave Ever Surfed Officially Set: 

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More Nazaré, but we ain't complaining. This 80 foot bomb took home the world record for largest wave ever ridden. It's terrifying to watch, but also impossible to turn from. It's one of the greatest feats in sports history. 


3. Watch: Billy Kemper Wins WSL’S 2018 Jaws Challenge:

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This year's Jaws Challenge was nuts. It got cancelled because the waves got too big. And then a 14-year-old went out and surfed the maxing out Pe'ahi. When the contest resumed, it was all Billy Kemper. Watch the highlights from the historic competition here. 


4. Prepare to Have Your Mind Blown By John John Florence’s Edit:

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I'm the same age as John John and I used to be so jealous of him that I actually didn't like him. I got over that phase and now I think he's one of the world's coolest humans, not to mention one of the best surfers ever. This edit is straight bananas. I've lost count of how many times I've watched it yet it still gets me so pumped up. 


5. Chippa Wilson Just Dropped An Indo Banger: 

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Chippa Wilson spent four months in Indonesia surfing every swell to hit that magical island nation, and the result was an epic 10 minute montage that's reminiscent of the old school surf edits that we grew up watching. It's just Chippa being Chippa, and it's so so sick. 

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Your Chances Of Dying Ranked By Sport and Activity
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Your Chances Of Dying Ranked By Sport and Activity

Your Chances Of Dying Ranked By Sport and Activity

Source: besthealthcaredegress.com RELATED: The Ultimate Animal Video Encounters To understand how these numbers compare to more "natural" causes, see this US data from the Center For Disease Control. For parents wanting a more focused guide to youth activities, take a look at this data on sports injuries compiled by Stanford Children's Hospital. More data on 20th century death statistics from the World Health Organization visualized by informationisbeautiful.net

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World Record for Largest Wave Ever Surfed Officially Set
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World Record for Largest Wave Ever Surfed Officially Set

World Record for Largest Wave Ever Surfed Officially Set

On Saturday, at its annual Big Wave Awards, the World Surf League made an important announcement–judges within the WSL had ruled that the above wave, surfed by Brazilian Rodrigo Koxa on November 8 at Nazare in Portugal, was 80 feet in measurement, officially making it the largest wave ever surfed. The ruling by the WSL's judges broke the previous Guinness World Record set by Garrett McNamara of 78 feet in 2011 at the Portuguese break known as Big Mama. McNamara surfed another wave in 2013

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Kelly Slater Wave Co. Buys Austin’s NLand Surf Park
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Kelly Slater Wave Co. Buys Austin’s NLand Surf Park

Kelly Slater Wave Co. Buys Austin’s NLand Surf Park

When modern artificial surf parks first became a thing a few years ago, everyone was drooling over the fact that, they too, could someday surf a perfect barrel. However, it quickly became clear that wave pools were a beacon of the elite, and it took until 2016 for one to be opened to the public in the US. Austin, Texas’s NLand Surf Park was the first to break that mold when it opened its doors to the public in 2016. RELATED: Jay Peak Resort For Sale In Coming Weeks Kelly Slater Wave Co.