Kauli Vaast, and photo pal, a second, or two, before hopping on a ride with no seatbelt or brakes.

Incredible moment at Teahupoo as Tahitian surfer and photographer are both thrown over the falls on same monster wave, “This is the biggest wave I’ve ever surfed and I’ve ever seen in my life. This is also the best, craziest, scariest footage filmed!”

Nathan Florence, who’d chased the swell from Hawaii, figured he was seeing a train crash up close, "I thought I'd witnessed something horrible."

A Code Red swell, as they call it, flicked the switch on Teahupoo a few days back, rides pumping adrenalin along the frail and brittle pipes of the usual coterie of big-wave surfers.

The wildest wave ridden, and filmed, was a fearsome animal that took both Tahitian Kauli Vaast, a three-time European champion, and photographer Manea Fabisch over the falls.

“This is the biggest wave I’ve ever surfed and I’ve ever seen in my life. This is also the best, craziest, scariest and beautiful footage filmed but my brother @manea.f,” Vaast wrote. “We both went over the falls !! 
As you can see from this angle, the wave was really hard to surf! 
So I did my best but went for the biggest Floater to El Rollo.”

Nathan Florence, who’d chased the swell from Hawaii, figured he was seeing a train crash up close.

“Holy sht, this angle is insane, glad you alive! watched from the side on ski live and thought id just witnessed something horrible.”

From Shane Dorian, the greatest big-wave surfer of all time, “Happy you’re ok!! Wow.”


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A post shared by Kauli VAAST (@kaulivaast)

So many things to buy!

WSL’s collaboration with disposable furniture giant IKEA takes greenwashing to dizzy new heights, “(The) collection addresses our planet’s global challenges, while supporting a sustainable everyday life — in and around water.”

Includes "greenhouse gas spewing" charcoal cooker!

As fate would play its usual comedic hand, on the very day IKEA’s Kaseberga collection, “made with the World Surf League”, lands in stores, I’m renting a beachfront hovel in Hossegor filled, entirely, with the disposable furniture giant’s produce. 

It’s all fine enough, perfectly operable within its short lifespan, before a brief moment on the roadside as it awaits its eventual landfill grave, but one must challenge, I think, greenwashing propaganda such as “(the) collection addresses our planet’s global challenges, while supporting a sustainable everyday life — in and around water.” 

What does sustainability mean? 

Does it mean anything? 

Isn’t stepping off the consumerist train now and then a sounder environmental approach?

If a plastic bag is made from recycled “ocean-bound” polyester, is that a reason to celebrate?

Or, better, not to buy any plastic bag at all? 

Is a charcoal cooker, its fuel tightly packed bundles of carbon that “spew pounds of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into the atmosphere”, a gift to the earth, too? 

A bamboo table?

Baskets, lights, chairs, a tent, hat, backpack, water bottle, towel, yoga mat, rug? 

Of course, it is a collection “that embraces the surfer’s mindset, whether you ride waves or not.”

So there’s that.

Examine and hurry the earth towards its inevitable demise by buying here. 

In shock new academic study, surfers who were not allowed to surf during Coronavirus lockdown orders reported feeling “restless, depressed and bored!”

Brace yourself for a worldview change.

The early days of the Coronavirus pandemic are now, officially, in the rearview which gives scientists and academics the necessary space to examine data from a cooly impersonal angle. And one of the more shocking discoveries was revealed in a study just published out of Old Dominion University which just so happens to be in Norfolk, Virginia.

For it is there that Lindsay Usher, associate professor of park, recreation and tourism studies wondered how we were feeling when our beaches were shuttered for our own protection.

Usher, a surfer herself, conducted in-depth interviews with almost 30 surfer, 15 men, 14 women from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, scattered all over the globe.

Stupefyingly she found:

Participants who could not surf for multiple weeks or had difficulty accessing surf due to stay-at-home orders reported feeling restless, depressed and bored. Usher noted: “An important thing to understand is that for many people, surfing is a way of life and even a part of their identity. Taking that away was devastating for many during such a stressful time.” Despite these feelings, most expressed understanding for the situation since so little was known about the novel coronavirus at the time.

Conversely, and equally unanticipated, was the reaction of who were allowed to surf, especially those who lived in heavily touristed surf destinations:

Several participants said it was nice not having tourists, but recognized it was also bad for the local economy. In Latin America, one participant described how a surf community had gone back to fishing to make it through the pandemic, but another nearby community had relied on surfing for so long it did not have a back-up means of income. When the access bridges to the Outer Banks were closed for two months and surfing was restricted to locals only, a participant noted the “vibe” in the water was friendly because everyone knew one another.

In conclusion:

“This will likely not be the last pandemic we have to deal with. Hopefully, we can take the lessons learned and apply them in the future, achieving a better balance between safety and access to recreation, given the importance of it in people’s lives.”

Back to the beach shuttering, though. Did you live in a place where that happened?

It felt dumb in real time.

It feels dumber now.

As freakishly gargantuan swell steams toward Hawaiian Islands, tourists, the infirm, those weak of will and/or stomach are advised to avert their eyes from the raging sea!

Meanwhile surfers, brave and bold, wax rhino chasers.

Hell is steaming toward the Hawaiian Islands. Hell in the form of a swell so big, so menacing that the National Weather Service has been forced to call it “historic.” A product of Tropical Storm Darby, the first licks should be arriving Saturday morning and build through the weekend, lashing all south facing shores of the chain.

Surf will build from 14 feet, today, to 24 feet by Sunday. That equates to 7 to 12 German Male Lower Legs or 354 to 897 Surflines.

It is thought to be the largest pulse in the last two decades.

Tourists, the infirm and those weak of stomach or will are encouraged to flee inland and partake in non-ocean activities like finger painting or yoga.

According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser:

The weather service said to expect ocean water “occasionally sweeping across portions of beaches, very strong breaking waves, and strong longshore and rip currents.” The waves and currents may impact harbor entrances and channels, which can cause challenging boating conditions.

“The large, breaking surf, significant shore break, and dangerous currents make entering the water very dangerous,” the NWS said.

Boaters should also be aware of an increased number of surfers and those on body boards using a harbor channel to access surfing areas.

Ahhhh brave and bold surfers, waxing rhino chasers and staring fate in its cold eye. I feel “rhino chaser” is an underutilized bit of surf jargon, don’t you?

In any case, are you on da islands? Where will you paddle? Or is finger painting calling your name?

Decisions decisions.

Dirty Water with existentialist Julian Wilson, “I thought I watched Bruce Irons die in front of me, I thought I watched Nathan Fletcher die in front of me, I thought I was going to die!”

And a wild account of watching Maya Gabeira being pounded into unconsciousness at fifteen-foot Teahupoo…

This episode of Dirty Water hits a high-water mark, I think, as Ben Mondy peels layers from “the best surfer in his generation never to win a world title” Julian Wilson.

Many revelations, including Julian’s arrest as a teen, the day he stared death in the face, not just his own, but Bruce Irons’, Nathan Fletcher’s and Maya Gaberia’s, how he was forced to become the family breadwinner at fifteen after his mama got hit with breast cancer and why he wanted to beat hell out of a fellow competitor.

Good looking and nice smelling as opposed to Mondy’s stale smell, rather yellowish, like Gruyère cheese.