Bruce Brown surfing films are some the weirdest things I've seen.
really good read.
According to Matt Warshaw, author of The Encyclopedia of Surfing, among other excellent works, the surf on Oahu’s North Shore smashed 60 houses and washed two people away. Toward the end of that episode a man named Greg Noll surfed the largest wave yet attempted—an impossible, exploding, 35-foot face at Makaha, on Oahu’s west side. Noll was an animal. People called him “The Bull.” Twelve years earlier, in 1957, he had been the first to take on Waimea Bay. He was as strong and tough as Bradshaw would someday be. He survived Makaha by diving off the back of his board during the wave’s collapse. This means he did not technically “make” the wave, but he did ride it for a while, and in these matters courage counts for a lot. Warshaw quotes Noll’s memoir, in which he wrote, “That day at big Makaha was like looking over the goddamned edge at the big, black pit. Some of my best friends have said it was a death-wish wave. I didn’t think so at the time, but in retrospect I realize it was probably bordering on the edge.”
Bradshaw told me about meeting Noll many years later. He said, “Noll asked me, ‘Do you ever close your eyes?’
“I said, ‘Excuse me?’
“‘At the top of the wave.’
“I said, ‘No! I always want to know where I’m going!’ Then I realized, that’s how he did it. He’d get to some point where it was scary, then just close his eyes and keep going. Because his desire was greater than his fear.”