Freak Waves

mvuent

Every dog has its day.
who's your favorite surfer, craner? like, fuck "well technically, this person's objectively the best" i mean an actual favorite?
 

craner

Beast of Burden
I guess I grew up gasping at the stuff Kelly Slater was doing, but it's the mythical big wave guys who hold the imagination, Ken Bradshaw, Mark Foo, Greg Noll. My favorite of all is Derek Doerner.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
 

mind_philip

saw the light
Susan Casey's book 'The Wave' is pretty interesting, both on the science of rogue waves, and the psychology of Laird Hamilton, who just seems like an absolutely terrifying individual. As a writer she seems drawn to obsessive men who spend a lot of time on the water, as her previous book 'The Devil's Teeth' is about ornithologists who start observing Great White Sharks near the Farallon Islands. She got everyone fired from their jobs in the course of writing that one.

I went on a charter boat out to the Farallons about ten years ago and the wave frequency was so ridiculous that literally every person (except me, as I'd stuffed myself to the gills with anti-emetics before stepping on board) puked multiple times. The boat's loo lasted about 15 minutes of a 6 hour round trip.
 

mvuent

Every dog has its day.
really good read.

for just one example, this passage:
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.”
 
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craner

Beast of Burden
Tow-in surfing is banned at Monterey now, so those sessions don’t happen now, although apparently Levi paddled into the wave that killed him.
 
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