Is it going to deliver as we all hope it will?
Got to love a bit of big wave excitement. Also, got to love a bit of gung ho. It’s what the sport needs. We always want them to be bold, to make claims, to stay confident and to stay forthright, just like Dead-Ahead Fred! There have been some bogs in the past though. Hoo boy!
Who remembers when Pete Mel, Gary Linden and the rest of the Big Wave Tour went over to Peahi to run their event, yet it was decided not to run on that day. There were waves, and it was highly contestable. It definitely wasn't at the cartoonish level of big as the last Peahi Challenge, but there were waves that were big enough for a contest to run. Some said that there were intense politics with regard to the safety crew, while others said that it actually wasn’t big enough and therefore would not garner enough attention that the tour needed. Either way, Mr Linden went out himself and caught his bomb for the world to see. It must be added here that Mr Linden is quite an incredible human being. He was on a mission called Fifty At Fifty, which involved a 50-year-old man riding a 50-foot wave. I’m not sure if it happened at the time, but he was 65 when he rode his bomb at Peahi. Yes, 65 years old. It’s a helluva thing, eclipsed only by 66-year-old Clyde Aikau’s gung-ho performance at the (now-defunct) Quiksilver in memory of Eddie Aikau Big Wave invitational, that was won by none other than our current CT world champ John John.
Other bogs have been a very lackluster recent event at Mavericks, an entry-level event at Todos, and a less than massive season opener at Puerto Escondido.
Still, they stick to their guns! They proclaim that Friday is going to be the day! It’s going to happen at Jaws/Peahi on Friday morning at 8 am Hawaiian time, and the event includes girls! The barrel riding genius of Paige Alms, the gutsiest surfer girl ever in Bianca Valenti, (inexplicably excluded from the Titans Of Mavericks event), the glamour of Maya Gabeira, the sexy brawn of Jamilah Starr.
Right now, as you are reading this, and I hope many of you are reading this right now because I get paid on clicks*, surfers from around the world are on planes, others are on trains, and the rest are on automobiles, bee-lining it for Maui and to the hallowed ground that comprises the biggest paddleable wave on the planet.
The Surfline forecast is holding steady for 30 foot waves on Friday, but they initially called it for Thursday. That means that the swell is going to arrive later than predicted. One can just hope that it’s doesn’t peak during the night, with Friday revealing marginal conditions.
It’s probably not going to come through the night. It’s probably going to be booming at first light, and the Big Wave Tour will just step up their game and entrench themselves further.
Billy Kemper will be there to defend his title, and Twiggy Baker will be there to try and hold on to the ratings lead. Former world champion Greg Long, the surfer who rode one of the biggest barrels of all time at this event last year, will also be in the mix, gunning for another victory. Shane Dorian is in there. He rode one of the biggest, latest and greatest waves at the last event there, and knows the wave possibly better than anyone else. Then there is Nic Lamb. Mavericks charger, and a previous winner at both Mavs and Punta Galea. Determined and young, Lamb has proven himself to be fearless time and again.
The Surfline forecast looks good, and it’s obvious that a few big waves will rumble over the triangle shaped reef at Peahi. Let’s just hope that it gets big enough.
* I don't get paid by clicks. That’s a blatant lie.