Remember that time Ellis Ericson scored the wave of the winter? No? This might be why.
I first came here when I was a buck-toothed grom in 2003 and I stayed at the Billabong House. Margo was the team manager, Bede Durbidge, Laurie (Towner) and (Wade) Goodall and Ace Buchan were still with 'em, and I was so young. You come to Hawaii and the focus is so much on who got the best wave this year, the wave of the winter, the GoPro wave of the winter or whatever. It's so wave oriented where everywhere else in the world is session based or season based. I vividly remember that moment of getting THE WAVE. It was like the fucken wave of the winter came to me, dude. The Pipe final was on and it might have been when Andy was in it and I was trying to get waves on the side. It was just off Backdoor and this fucken wave came to me, dude, and I was like, Oh My God. It was so perfect. I swung, head down and started paddling for it. I could see people chipping in on my side and I'm such a grom I'm just like like (puts on high pitch squeal) "oi, oi, oiiiii!" I get up to my feet and I just fucking fall, dude. I get so lifted. Just projected. There's this funny sequence where I'm doing a full squirrel down the face, like batman dropping. I landed and went round and round again and hit the bottom and jacked my shoulder, snapped my board, got a proper beat down. I get up and I'm gasping for air and I'm a bit bloody. The guy who I'd "oi, oi'd," well he's in jail now. But he was one of the notorious heavy local guys. He paddles up to me and he's like, 'How fucken dare you call me off that fucken wave, rah rah rah,' just getting local as shit on me. I'm just like, I had that biggest beatdown of my life, tried to paddle into a bomb, blew the wave of your life, got owned, and then to come up gasping for air and some full loke just in your face sending you in. I just got on my board and I was speechless. I just limped into shore. But I dunno, that's just classic Hawaii. It was a snapshot of it all. I was like, 'this place is awesome.' That's just how it is over here. You think you've got it, you think you've got the best wave ever and it just creams you and you get sent in and you're on the beach with your head in your hands. Then you come back next year and do it all again.
- Ellis Ericson (as told to Jed Smith)
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