Long, draining, warm-water, sand-bottom point. In Western Australia. Make you wanna chase?
What do you want in a “world’s best wave”? A few jocks will chase the Teahupoo dream; others are Hawaii; a few thrill to the cold-water ledges.
Me? And you? I’m thinking warm-water sand-bottom points with a cap on the wave size at, say, six foot. Like this remarkable confluence of sand and swell three hours drive south of Perth in Western Australia, and relatively close to the primary residence of the tour’s Taj Burrow.
”You’re just looking at each other with your mouths open and you’re shaking your head and nothing comes out, you don’t know what to say. I’d lost my voice by the end of the day,” says Taj of a wave that has only appeared, in this sort of form, twice, and only for a few hours each time, in the past 20 years.
Cyclone Bianca (2011) and Cyclone Iggy (2012) are two meteorological events that surfers who were there, on this day, and on the previous one the year before, will remember for the rest of their lives.
Cyclones, y’see, don’t do a hell of a lot for waves around these parts, usually. Mostly they’re too far up north, Exmouth and beyond. But Bianca and Iggy flew south and spun their north-swell dreams into a part of the state more famous for its lefts (Let’s leave North Point outta the picture for a minute).
And what happens is the prevailing southerlies push sand up into the beachbreaks, every day, every year. But without a north swell to light ’em up, they’re always closeouts.
“We couldn’t believe it happened two years in a row,” says Jamie Scott, who shot this photo. “That never happens. Two in a row! We were losing it.” The “we” refers to Taj, Jay Davies and another local surfer Dino Adrian.
Jamie is 44 years old and takes surf photos for a living. He also prints these shots, makes frames and then “sits it out at the markets every Saturday and Sunday in summer.”
“As far as beachies go, these were the best waves we’ve ever had down here,” says Jamie. “North Point gets fucked up as you know, but these were long, draining, heavy beachies with shape. And it was pumping, as in the waves didn’t stop. Usually our swells are long-period here but because the cyclone was so close there was a real short period and the waves were closer together, pumping through.”
Which means, “good lineup shots,” says Jamie.
How long can you mind-surf this photo for?