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.
Big waves are nothing new to surfers these days, but how about to skiers? California skier Chuck Patterson decided to combine two of his favorite things-- big wave surfing and skiing on some of Half Moon Bay's biggest swells. Using custom skis designed specifically for this feat, and taking inspiration from Patterson's late friend, Shane McConkey, they allow him to carve the waves as he would snow. Fitted with classic ski bindings, and worn with regular ski boots, the carnage if Patterson
TGR might be rooted in winter sportsbut we sure like to get out into the ocean as well. I mean we’re pretty much just surfing big white waves in the mountains too. Across the surf world, we’re always impressed by what mother nature can throw at us, including some boat-destroying waves, some crazy heavy rides, and the peace and quiet of nice long paddleboard sesh. On top of that, it’s the skill and mind-blowing athleticism from athletes like Alex Botelho and Kai Lenny continue to keep us
Have you been feeling stressed? Maybe a little out of sorts? Like you just need a minute to chill out? Well now you can take four whole minutes to chill out with the help of Brandon Kuzma's new film . Follow Kuzma and his 16mm camera down to Baja for some good vibes and pretty sweet surf lines. The film features Tony Masters, Currie Wagner, and Justin Villano riding waves and providing some strong feels. This short film will help you breathe in the salty, ocean air of Baja and escape whatever