It’s not everyday that a big wave competition gets called off due to big waves (i.e. there was a moral dilemma to keep it running because death was on the table), yet that’s exactly what happened Monday afternoon at Jaws after a few competitors headed back to the boats with injuries. The eventual champion Billy Kemper got knocked out while trying to bust through a 25-foot backdoor barrel.
“I don’t really remember much. I just remember it went really black and fuzzy,” Billy told Stab Magazine. “I think I blacked out for a second. Sean Lopez said he came to grab me and hit me in the head with the ski. I guess I was just laying there, then he came back and grabbed me by my jersey. I came-to on the sled.” Getting knocked out in the water is already terrifying, but having it happen during a giant Jaws session is a straight nightmare. Grant “Twiggy” Baker also sustained some injuries after he got sucked up the back of a heaving tube before disappearing into the cavern.
But just because the contest was postponed, that didn't stop the surfers from staying in the lineup and attacking some Pe’ahi monsters. Due to the building swell and shifting trade winds, most of the surfers reverted to the sleds and turned the day into a tow session. Kai Lenny got what is already being talked about as the Ride of the Year when he airdropped 20 feet coming off a cutback on the lip and then stomped the landing. It was pure insanity. The spectator in me wishes the contest kept going because that would have been an all-time competition ride, but it’s pretty clear commissioner Mike Parsons made the right choice after we learned of some of the injures. Plus we got an extra day of surfing out of it. Watch some of these clips from the comp.
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.
A big wave surfer at Mavericks. Shalom Jacobovitz photo. A recent study published in the journal has drawn a correlation between rising temperatures in the upper ocean and increases in global wave power. The authors conclude that global wave power, a measure of the energy transferred from the wind into sea-surface motion, has increased annually in tandem with sea-surface temperature rises associated with climate change. Changes in oceanic wave power over time. Nature graphic. The rise in