Mark Mathews describes what it feels like to have your arm torn from its socket…
Earlier this month, the Australian Mark Mathews rode what Shane Dorian would later describe as “one of the biggest and heaviest waves ever paddled into.”
Shane should be Mark’s press agent, don’t you think? It wasn’t true, of course, the euphoria of a good day of big-wave surfing will fill everyone with an orange glow and make even gunmen like Shane Dorian high on hyperbole. But what a ride it was.
Under Maui’s lemony sunshine, the world’s best big-wave surfers had assembled for the 2015 Pe’ahi Challenge. With only 45 minutes to surf before the start of the event, Mathews promised himself a big north set. He watched Shane Dorian air drop into a sixteen-storey bomb.
A dozen minutes later it was Mathews’ turn.
Too deep, too far out, on too-short and too-thin a board, the Australian wrestled the takeoff, retrieved a submerged nose – all to the delighted shouts of the surfers paddling out for the first heat – but it quickly turned into a disaster movie, his shoulder ripped from its socket, muscles and ligaments and whatever else scrambled.
Last Tuesday, Mathews went under the knife at a Sydney hospital. The surgeon described the view from inside as an “explosion” and likened it to the mess he’d seen on a motocross rider eight weeks previous.
Here, Mathews describes the day, the wave, the view from sixteen stories up, and what it feels like to be 30 feet under, with a flapping wing, and knowing a second twenty-footer is about to land on your head.
I’m up to my eyeballs in snow and it is grand. Perfect for Christmas. My thighs ache from days on the hill but my spirit soars. The only problem is that my surf brain is barely crawling. I’m thinking about powder, you see, instead of swell. And also, all my wonderful surf friends are on vacation and so the Coconut Wireless don’t ring.
Except there is a glorious intersection! Did you know Matt Biolos is a total pow hound? He has a home in Mammoth and gets his winter shred on. My best pal Derek Rielly spent time with him and spoke of all the hiking and hunting for untracked lines and riding.
Mr. Biolos is so fond of snowboarding that he has a Mayhem x Lib Tech collaboration! It is a round nose fish, of course. The mountain website evo says:
You’ll have the most fun on the mountain if your ride received the personal treatment from Matt Biolos. With Matt’s help, the Lib Tech x Mayhem Round Nose Fish XC2 BTX Snowboard brings rippers a missile for the entire mountain. With 630 square inches of planing surface and a knife cut sintered base, this board can carve its way out of ice or heavier snow. The XC2 balances out rocker and camber so float and edge contact can peacefully coexist. Translation – you can rip this thing in any condition. The UHMW sidewalls and impact deflection will keep your board strong season after season. If you have an insatiable appetite for carving and speed, the Lib Tech x Mayhem Round Nose Fish XC2 BTX Snowboard is your compadre.
And I think I need one now. For sure I need one.
Lib Tech, in case you don’t know anything, make the finest snowboards in the biz. By far. I ride one and it goes very well but I’ll do a better review once I get my round nose fish. In any case, Lib also makes a surfboard but they call it a waterboard and I think I need one of those now too. I’ve only heard wonderful things but I’ll also do a better review once I get one of those too. Merry Christmas me (maybe)!
All to say, how great that seemingly opposite pursuits share such wonderful people? And if you don’t snowboard you should. It costs $100000000 but it is worth every penny. Also Gerry Lopez does and he has never done anything wrong in his life.
P.S. Did you know that The Inertia has The Inertia Mountain, a snowboarding site or maybe just include tons of snowboarding into their existing site? Don’t worry. No one else did either. I’m just letting you know that BeachGrit is not so bold as to regularly fold snow into surf. This is a one-off! Until I get my round nose fish and then it’ll be a two-off!
As a 14-year-old surfing prodigy, Strider Wasilewski used to hunt the crowded Southern California coast for quiet surf spots. One of his favorites was Little Dume Beach, near Point Dume in Malibu, a crescent of sand half-hidden in a cove at the bottom of steep bluffs.
In today’s New York Times, Strider’s Point Dume house, nicknamed “the barn” is profiled in detail, including a photo gallery.
“As a 14-year-old surfing prodigy, Strider Wasilewski used to hunt the crowded Southern California coast for quiet surf spots. One of his favorites was Little Dume Beach, near Point Dume in Malibu, a crescent of sand half-hidden in a cove at the bottom of steep bluffs.
‘It was an untouchable area,’ gated off and accessible only to local residents, Mr. Wasilewski said. But he heard about a family that kept their gate open. ‘They lived right by the trail,’ he said. ‘I used to run through their yard. They would yell at me.;
“Lily Harfouche, a real estate agent and occasional surfer who spent part of her childhood in Malibu, ran through the same yard with her teenage friends to get to the beach. ‘You go down there, and it’s you and a handful of people,’ Ms. Harfouche said. ‘It’s so incredibly beautiful.’
“These days, Mr. Wasilewski, 42, and Ms. Harfouche, 36, are married (they met at a reggae concert on the Santa Monica Pier) and live with their three young sons on Point Dume, in a simple open-plan house they call ‘the barn’. But it took the couple several years and several moves to arrive at their childhood stomping grounds and their pared-down life.”
How did he afford such a dazzling house?
“Their first place was farther down the coast in Venice, where years ago Mr. Wasilewski had bought two rundown bungalows on the same property. When he was off in Hawaii or elsewhere chasing big waves, Ms. Harfouche looked after the homes. The couple fixed them up and eventually sold them, discovering a shared interest in home renovation and real estate.
“They next moved to Malibu, where they repeated the buy-fix-sell process three more times. Mr. Wasilewski’s surfing buddies, many of them tradesmen, were drafted as the work crew. And Ms. Harfouche, who spent part of her childhood in small New York apartments (her parents were actors), began yearning for a big house.
“So with their profits, the couple bought a place on a one-acre lot on Point Dume, took it down to the studs and created a dream home on the hillside…”
Who does a North Shore Christmas better than Mason Ho?
Mason Ho and the hell that is the area between Rockpiles and Log Cabins are a never ending source of joy. Toss a Santa hat in the mix and you’ve got a beautiful spice for your egg nog. Here’s towishing you all a dominant Chronica!
I’ve got a lot of cooking ahead of me today. Our Chronica feast is going to be especially lovely, the Safeway had a sale on lobster tails (only $5 each!), so I bought the lot.
People in line behind me were pretty bummed, which fits perfectly with the spirit of the holiday.
The Inertia writers have one wish for Christmas. Help Santa! Or The Mad Hueys!
Christmas is just the dreamiest of times. The world covered in a blanket of fresh snow represents pure possibility! Anything can happen. The lion can lie down with the lamb. The stone cold surf journalistics can become super cool chillazzz.
How does this last one happen? Ask The Inertia staff writers ‘cuz Santa be busy!
First, apparently, use a word that the kids were using two years ago in the title. Like “ham.”
Second, employ regional slang like “shoeys” ? because the kids know that you down with foreign culturez, girlfriend.
Third, write about Australia’s Mad Hueys lots. They hip, yeah? They drankin the beerz and they girlfrienz gettin the titties out!
Fourth, be the home of thinking surfers!
And then dizzzzone my homies. Cool is as cool does. And now you cool as ice!