Your Biggest Wave?

Discussion in 'Surfing' started by Dawnpatrol, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. Dawnpatrol

    Dawnpatrol Well-Known Member

    May 7, 2006
    After watching the Peahi's/Jaw's Challenge I gringed as I watched and held my breath for seconds as both men and women went over the falls, Maytagged and came up alive. I was maybe 14 years old when I paddled out from Cowell's to the second reef at Steamer's Lane. This was like 1964. It was one helluva an experience. I had a 9' 8" pop out. I sat out there with Chubby Mitchell, Kit Horn and maybe Bob Pearson. Chubby looked at me and told me to paddle in now! I did, but not until I paddled into what was probably a 10-15' wave. The water running up the face was pushing me back up the wave and when it released I did a free fall trying to stay on the board. I went down hard and the board (sans leash) found it's demise against the cliff. I was Maytagged and I truly believe God loves fools and idiots! Chubby saw it all come down. He paddled my ass in to Cowell's and man did I catch hell! When I got home, the pineapple/coconut telegraph had reached my dad/house. It took me a year to earn enough money to buy a Duke Kahanomoku popout at the Hillsdale Sears and Roebuck to try it again!

    So what's your biggest wave? I've come to a senior moment that anything over my head is now a medicare moment!
    dingdong, Artz, Chilly Willy and 3 others like this.
  2. applekat

    applekat Well-Known Member

    Jul 31, 2007
    (Does it make me old that I was secretly impressed you used (and spelled correctly!) the word Roebuck?)
    Dawnpatrol, Artz and OCSURFER32 like this.
  3. SeniorGrom

    SeniorGrom Well-Known Member

    Mar 20, 2012
    USA New Jersey
    For me it was 1979. Visiting my Sister who had just moved over to Maui with a guy who was managing a group of car dealerships on the islands. I was 29 and a pretty competent East Coast surfer. Needless to say my wife and I bought tickets and flew to paradise in December. I picked up a used Lopez gun shape at a local shop. We toured around the island for a couple of days enjoying life and the surf was pretty flat. I learned how delicious grilled steak fish can be. One day I drove up to Honolua Bay and watched 3 or 4 guys surf up the point in chest/head high beauties. I checked the entry down the cliffs and paddle accross into the channel. Next time I drove up there the swell had arrived. To me they were the height of a two story house!! There were 8-10 guys out and charging. I got down the cliffs, timed the paddle out between sets and sat waay down the line not really near what I thought must be talented locals. I watched a lot of almond shaped barrels throwing out. Some heavy whitewater thumping the cliffs. I’ve always said 12-15 foot but thought Hawaiians probably call it 6 foot. It was BIG. I caught and rode some of the waves of my life and truthfully never paddled out to sit with the pack but stayed down the line a bit. Incredible experience not equalled for me at least in surfing.
    glider_boy and Chilly Willy like this.
  4. dingpatch

    dingpatch Well-Known Member

    Apr 2, 2014
    Florida USA
    Well, , , , over the years in the 1960's there were always a couple "epic" days when "head high" was enormous to us kids. My actual "biggest" surf was not until Monster Hole in the early 1970's. There was one particular double-overhead+ NE swell day in '72 when, during my first drop-in, I realized that I was breathing during the drop to the bottom! Then, there was that "8 ft Hawaiian" day at Hanalei in 2006! ! caught some fantastic waves but, I also I got well and truly worked. When I got back to the estate, Dick B "smiled" at my tale. A full description would require a separate thread to properly discuss such merciless beatings!
  5. Finward

    Finward Active Member

    Jan 16, 2012
    Sunzal, it had been building pretty quickly that day and was breaking from the point to the rivermouth past el tunco. It is a weird wave anyway and this just exacerbated the faults. Caught 1 wave that was easily over my head in every way, tried to avoid a local sponge cunt or maybe I just suck but I came up promising to stop some sin I was committing the night before, went in and took pictures, started sinning anew
    dingdong, JMJackFish and deemce like this.
  6. Tenfooter

    Tenfooter Active Member

    Nov 12, 2014
    USA Rhode Island
    Town beach in Narragansett, RI. It was two summers ago.
    I was riding a Coop supernova, 10 ft. No leash. It was knee high and I was farting around, my kids watching me. I took that monster 1 ft wave, walk to the nose, and finally fell, to come out of the water in what I thought it was a safe place. Those rails are fucking sharp!!! 9 stiches later, that was the biggest wave of my life.
    Islander1341 likes this.
  7. Veterano

    Veterano Well-Known Member

    Aug 29, 2013
    Chubby was one of the coolest Hawaiians I ever met. I'm so lucky to have been around that crew as a young kid. MB Pier & The Hibachi.
    IMO, it's near impossible to call the size of the biggest wave you've ever ridden because of the perspective of riding it is so different. Like a GoPro view of a big wave. Looks way different from the view from land of the same wave. GoPro perspective looks smaller.
    You have to have a reliable, experienced witness to call the size. Some of the biggest waves I've ever ridden did not feel that big while riding but then when a friend(s) describe them I realize they were the ones for the memory. Hope they show up on the deathbed.
    And that works conversely too. Waves I thought were near max for me were reported right after the fact as not THAT big. You can be out in big water and watch guys drop into sets and you're able to call the size, but when you're on them things happen so fast and the fact that you may make your initial turn mid face, you can never really say for sure.
  8. Surfnfish

    Surfnfish Well-Known Member

    Feb 6, 2015
    Devils Lake, Oregon Coast
    Used to enjoy the DOH to TOH range...worked with my shaper developing a semi model he put my name on, the 8' on his site. Dynamics Guns.htm

    could always count on a handful of excellent SF Ocean Beach days in that range each year, the paddle out a hella of a lot tougher then riding the waves themselves

    a couple of sessions at Maverick''s dark down there, at the end of a 12' leash.. attracts far more mediocre surfers then you would imagine, clogging the lineup, pushing the take-off zone overly deep..a couple sessions and was done with it

    Hanalei at size is a damn serious wave, massive, powerful walls, consider it heavier than Sunset foot for foot...

    Tropical reefs can be hella fun until the swell jumps... paddled out at fresh swell 3x Cloudbreak with a mate, no one else in the lineup, we each stuck our heads over the ledge for for a peek, witnessed the massively turbulent boils at the bottom, paddled back to the boat and went to Namotu, which was DOH+ and fun....7 day swell at G-Land that just kept getting bigger, at the peak scary big, paddled around for 3 hours to get just two waves out the back, second one left me with a separated rib after the Speedies section clamped down on me.

    The guys who really charge and excel in the truly big waves are a different species...highly self obsessive, massively confident, and all will be orthopedic cripples in their old age..
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
    ElBrooklyn, Planktom and Bighouse like this.
  9. strez

    strez Active Member

    Mar 23, 2012
    Hamilton, Massachusetts
    Back in college daze during a strong winter storm swell I was at a sheltered New England cove that only breaks when it is extra big and gnarly. The takeoff is on a point where if you don't make it you hit the rock/cliff. No bueno.

    Anyway...the buoys read 16 feet that day. Winds were off shore and paddling around seemed like going up and over mountains. I was scared but got two smaller waves and lived to tell about it. The carnage included one guy who got a board in the teeth - a big bloody mess. Another guy badly wrenched his back and later needed surgery to fix it. I remember looking down the face of some of those waves...seemed like looking down from the roof of a house.

    Now that I am older, colder and have a family I prefer HH or below. Still, the experience brings a smile to my face when thinking back...
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
    Tenfooter and Chilly Willy like this.
  10. Planktom

    Planktom Active Member

    Dec 27, 2016
    Devon, UK
    Surfed some big burgers in my time, but it's the thick, square things that scare the poop out of me if I'm honest...

    I surfed Speedies at G Land at 11ft@20s SSW direction a few years back and 100% felt the perimeter of my capability on that day. Some guy had his long sleeve wettie top pulled straight off of him on a deep one that he couldn't keep pace with.

    It's such a mindf**k, surfing waves like that - the rationale goes over and over in your head logically 'you got this', but then the Neanderthal brain takes over and prevents you from going on the late/deep/big/gaping ones. Such a weird situation.
    ElBrooklyn and Surfnfish like this.

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