Yeah, it's fun to watch, but man, I just don't understand that part of the surf culture. The screw loose, go for broke, risk life and limb for a closeout. I know it's probably the ultimate rush, but 99% of those waves are just neck breaking closeouts and standup surfers almost NEVER make it out. A very wise man and very talented surfer once told me, there are three places on the entire west coast that he would never surf. Mavs, Trees and the Wedge.
Big waves are great, but the wedge isn't even really a wave. Its just a bomb. The drop must be nutso, but even for a guy as good as JOB, why are you there, surfing that wave? One wrong move on that and it's gonna be way worse than a bad day at Pipe. At least a lot of waves at Pipe are makable. The wedge is just a death machine and I will never, ever understand those guys that charge it there. They definitely deserve the huge nuts sack award, but man, why? There are a few spots in HI that are mainly boogie boarding spots, and I see video of them, its no where near as crazy as the wedge, but its just a 10 minute video of 100 barrels that not one person every makes it out of....
I thought the main point of pulling into a barrel is making it out, cause I don't care how deep you get at the wedge, or what that perfect photo op looks like for a split second before you get destroyed, if you don't make it out, you just rode a closeout, not a barrel. It looks good on film, especially still shots. But from the old school skate photogs and the traditional surf photogs, if you don't land it, you can't print it. If you get whipped into a huge air and get a photo of it, that is cheating.
I am glad there are crazy enough people in this world to surf places like the wedge, so we can all sit there with popcorn and watch the carnage, but man, those guys seriously have a screw loose. Especially the stand up surfers.
Wedge isn't as scary as cylinders. You can watch the lip at cylinders land on dry sand, at least wedge has 1-1.5 feet of water. Saw 1 guy dislocate his shoulder and one guy die there years ago, hit his head. All within the same swell and it was only about a 4-6 foot swell.
When i grew up bodysurfing in Newport, I learned to do a flip turn out of the wave so the wave could break on my feet and not my head. I could usually kick out and not get pulled under too hard. When the wave would break on my feet, it would take my fins right off including the leashes. After the wave finished hurling me around as if I were in a washing machine, I'd find my fins washed up on the shore!