The biggest wipeout ever?

So subjective! So fun!

The week has been awash in superlatives what with a very large swell making its way around the globe. “Biggest evers” have littered social media and your other less favorite surf websites. You certainly read about Jamie Mitchell and Justin Holland getting their business at Cow Bombie in Western Australia. Mr. Mitchell rode some very big waves and so did Mr. Holland, who even had his femur snapped by one. They said it was the biggest wave ever ridden in Australia. Mr. Holland’s femur said, “Ouch you no good son of a bitch.”

A continent away, and a few weeks earlier, The Guardian, a British news outlet, made another claim. That Cornish surfer Tom Lowe snagged the biggest wipeout in history at Mexico’s Puerto Escondido. He told the paper, “The plan wasn’t to fall. If I would have made that wave I would have gotten the ride of my life.”

“Commenting on the video online,” the paper continued, “other surfers have described Lowe’s wipeout as the greatest of all time.”

Using web comments as proof may not be the best idea ever but who cares! Surfing is so gloriously subjective. It is, in fact, part of what makes the Sport of Kings so grande Ist subjectivity leads to endless debate, fights, versions of history. The only thing we can all agree on is that Kelly Slater is the GOAT. And that ummmmmmmmm Brazil will win the next ten titles.

Watch the Cornishman go bananas here!

Interview: Dane Reynolds on Being a Wildcard!

“There’s a weird psychological thing I have to get over,” says Dane.

What’s your take on Dane Reynolds? Maybe he thrilled you for a few years and then when he seemed to lose interest in it all, you turned to Jordy and then to John John. But now that Dane opened his shoulders in Fiji and is now on his way to J-Bay, you’re tentatively back in his corner.

Maybe you never liked him. Maybe you found the whole I-don’t-care schtick a little forced. Maybe you found his heavy-footed showing at Snapper the most righteous and karmic kick in the face ever.

Or maybe, like me, you scrape whatever you can from the internet, from magazines, about this once-in-a-generation surfer. Who, just when it seemed like he was about to disappear into the annals (not anals, y’fruit!) of history, has come back with a sharply changed game and, now, with one very good result, could qualify for the 2016 tour.

Is it really possible? Oh yes! Remember, in 2010, he tied for fourth place with Taj Burrow.

This interview was recorded during the Fiji Pro and is one of those World Surf League videos that are mercifully free of any embellishment, any cheap production tricks.

“I turned my back on it (the tour) and they’re giving me spots at events so there’s a weird psychological thing I have to get over,” says Dane. As for points being awarded to wildcards, which could, theoretically lead to he or Jay Davies or even Alejo Muniz qualifying though the side door, he says: “It totally makes sense. If you’re doing well enough for the points to matter, you’re beating the top seeds at events and (so) you’re deserving of those points.”

As for actually making it a goal, Dane says the idea of it, “puts so much pressure on myself I melt down.”

A good interview with an interesting surfer.

Dylan Reddering
Dylan Reddering survived a hit by a great white on Friday. The following day, and a little down the coast, another surfer was hit and lost their right leg.

South Africa: Two Great White Attacks in Two Days!

Shitty weekend for surfers in North Carolina and in Cape Town… 

It sure is hard to keep up with the news sometimes. A couple of shark attacks over the weekend in North Carolina, a south-eastern US state, lit up the wires and… now… a couple more, this time in South Africa.

Two attacks by suspected Great Whites, both on surfers.

First, around dusk on Friday, at Lookout Beach, Dylan Reddering, 23, was bitten on the right side of his body. Dylan kicked the shark away only to became stuck in a current while trying to swim back to shore.

In a little twist, his dad was one of the first to respond to the attack. He heard an emergency siren indicating there had been an incident at sea and rushed out to respond.

“I didn’t know it was my son. When I got to the (NSRI) station I was told there’s a shark attack. The boats were already out. A friend called me (and said) it was Dylan. My friend said: ‘Dylan is okay, don’t worry.’ You have no idea what those words meant.”

The following day, 19-year-old Caleb Swanepoel was surfing at Buffels Bay thirty k’s away, when he was attacked. He lost his right leg.

Last month, Cape Town surfer Mathieu Dasnois surrvied a hit by a four-metre white.

Which all begs the question, would you still go surfing in South Africa? Or are shark attacks, now, like Margaret River or Reunion, just part of the game?

Cape Hatteras: Two shark attacks in two days!

Let's go surf! No… wait… 

It ain’t the time to be in the water around Cape Hatteras, or anywhere in the states North and South Carolina, for that matter.

On Friday, June 26, a man was in waist-deep water on Hatteras Island when he was bitten on his leg and back. An hour earlier on the same day in South Carolina, a man was bitten while swimming off Hunting Island.

The next day, Saturday, June 27, a 17-year-old boy got hit while swimming, bitten on the right calf, ass and both hands.

A little under two weeks ago, in two separate attacks only 90 minutes apart, a 13-year-old girl and 16-year-old boy each lost an arm at the same North Carolina beach. His below the shoulder, hers at the elbow. The girl also sustained serious tissue damage to her leg.

(Read about that two-pronted attack here.)

Who knew raquetball could be so… fun!


Mick Fanning and the most important thing ever.

Ever. By far.

Sports broadcasting is obsessed with building hero narratives around every single moment. Every little shot, putt, throw, kick, swing, pitch, backside 360 or tube carries the weight of the whole world. The participants/observers will talk about the event with much gravitas, afterward, letting the viewer know that history would not be the same if it had not occurred.

Here Mick Fanning wins the 2013 Association of Surfing Professionals world title. An astroid did not hit the earth because of it. Thanks Mick!