All photos: Rod Owen

Maroubra goofy-footer, Luke ‘LK’ Kennedy, (not the editor of this magazine, another Luke Kennedy who was in fact once a Tracks, design intern) was just trying to paddle a few of the ‘smaller’ ones at Ours while the likes of Mark Mathews, Koby Abberton, Perth Standlick and Jay Thompson towed the bombs.

When the lineup emptied out Mark Mathews turned to the red-headed backsider and asked him if he wanted to tow a couple.

“I had to say yes,” Luke tells us while on a lunchbreak from his duties as a visual arts teacher at a Pagewood high school.

The last thing Luke remembers Mark saying as ski driver Bottle Thompson hauled him towards the horizon was ‘Don’t go too wide.’ Over the phone Luke indicates that because he’d always struggled to get deep enough while paddling on his backhand – “I’d always felt like I was on the shoulder ” – he took Mark’s advice very literally.

The disappearing crowd had led to Luke’s chance at Ours glory but it also meant that the inexperienced sling-shotter had no pack as a reference for where to let go of the rope. Determined to be super deep instead of flopping around on the wave’s chubby bits, Luke invariably cut his umbilical cord way to soon.

As Luke glided towards the ledge like some kind of suicidal red kelpie throwing itself over a cliff, a guilty feeling Mark Mathews was screaming, “Don’t go, Don’t let go!”

Despite the intensity of the subsequent thrashing, Luke still has fond memories of his fleeting moments inside the Ours chamber. “The keg was the greenest thing I’ve ever been in. There was so much energy… I hit the bottom but didn’t get too smashed. I came up a bit dizzy and then just started laughing because I was ok.”

“Jay and Mark both thought I’d died,” Luke recalls with a chuckle … “So did my mates sitting up on the rocks … Mark later told me that I’d let go of the rope about 100 metres too early.”

Luke paddled into one more wave after his heinous wipeout, but when asked if he’ll be back for another backside assault on Cape Solander he was very matter of fact and more than a little curious about what might have been, “Definitely, when it’s on I’ll be out there for sure. I really want to nail a good water shot

… Imagine if I’d been five metres wider.”