Behind The Ad # 183

I went over to Fiji for a big Cloudbreak swell in mid July and this wave, and the photo from this ad [Riptide 183, shot by Nick Bannehr], was from the first day of the swell and my second wave ever caught at the break.

I remember just before this wave I let one that looked similar to this go as I thought it was going to close out. What you can’t tell from the photo is that when you take off on the wave you see a long growing wall that looks like it’s going to close straight out. Initially you don’t think you can make them, but the reality is that these are the best ones.

After regretfully watching the wave before this one reel down the reef and spit out 200 metres down the line, I didn’t think twice about committing to it. From the minute I took off I tried to get as much speed as possible as I watched the growing, oncoming 100 metre backdoor section drain in front of me. Once under the lip nothing changed… full speed and a tight, fast line to the channel. Believe it or not I actually didn’t make this wave, I continued to lock in for another six seconds or so before eventually getting chewed by the shockwave.

An old friend of mine who charged Tahiti more than anyone back in the day, Brett Lillyman, once said something to me that I’ll never forget, “Some of the best barrels I have ever had are ones that I never made.” This wave was one of those.

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