"Step aside, Kelly Slater!"
I haven’t slept well since the Pipeline Masters in love me tender memory of Andy Irons got underway. Oh sure the thrill was enough to keep any sensible man awake but my own insomnia has been born of regret and shame. The last time David Lee and I chatted, you see, I declared that Kelly Slater would lose in round 1 then lose again in round 2 and be finished. That his creaky old body wouldn’t be able to adjust like it once did, cat-like reflexes slipping all the way away.
Then he went and made it into the semis with a now famous “Miracle 3.”
How could I have been so wrong? I felt something… felt the end.
This morning, though, my initial instinct was proven correct. Sure Kelly did very well at Pipe but Maxim magazine just declared the end of his era and the birth of our new star. Let’s read!
Step aside, Kelly Slater. There’s a new surfing superstar who’s taking the Internet by storm with a crazy viral video.
Big wave surfer Tom Butler (who’s English!) rode an absolutely ginormous wave that was estimated to be 100-feet tall at Nazare, Portugal on Friday in what many believe will set the new world record for biggest wave ever surfed.
“It’s the biggest wave surfed in the world this season and could beat the current big wave world record,” Butler told Cornwall Live.
The current record holder is Brazilian Rodrigo Koxa, who rode an 80-foot wave in November 2017, also at Nazare, a famed big wave surfing spot.
The record is unlikely to be confirmed until the World Surf League Big Wave Awards in April 2019, filmmaker Pedro Miranda posted in the description of the video he shot showing Butler’s feat.
“This [record] is tricky,” Miranda said. “Tommy is a very tall guy, measuring 6-feet, 2-inches. Any wave ridden by him will always look way smaller than it really is. Not calling this a world record because I don’t like to go into speculation, but whatever measure you think it is, the wave will be way bigger after analyzed by the WSL experts.
The 29-year-old surfer teamed with German big-wave surfer Sebastian Steudtner, who towed him into the wave.
“I reckon it was maybe 90 or even 100 feet. When I get home I’ll try to figure it out. It was a monster, I know that for sure.”
Tom Butler. It’s got a ring to it, no?