What's your biggest?

Discussion in 'All Discussions' started by pickles, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. pickles

    pickles Well-Known Member

    69
    Feb 6, 2014
    What's the biggest wave you have ever surfed? Yes, all dimensions of the wave counts: volume, height, and width. And yes you have to make it out of the wave for it to count.


    I'm gonna say 12 footer in Puerto Rico, was pretty mushy but so much fun.
     
  2. zach619

    zach619 Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    22-25 foot faces on sunset cliffs. Not hollow at all. All face. It was so big that the pitching lips would detonate about 1/2 wave down the face.... Got 4 waves that day in 2 hours. Most intense situation I have ever been in out in the water. Heart pounding, scared sh**less until you get the first one under your belt. It was the biggest swell in Southern CA since 1998. I actually have video from that day that my wife took above the cove. One day when I pay someone to pull it off an old DV tape, I will post some of it. I don't have firewire capabilities on any of my machines, so its all stuck on tapes. I watch it on the actual camera sometimes. After I was done surfing, I sat up on the cliff for about 30 minutes watching. It actually got a little bigger. I have about 2 minutes of footage of me narrating it. I turned the camera back on as I saw the biggest set I have ever seen developing from what looked like Japan. I was a few hundred feet above sea level, so you could see the sets from MILES away. I start saying, "Holy $&%&, HOLY &$^#! on the video, in about 2 minutes, everyone in the water is going to get destroyed" About 1.5 minutes later, guys could see up over the waves enough to see the set, they all started scraping, but the first wave broke about 400-500 yards past the lineup and mowed everyone down. After that, the sets were so big, and it was offshore, every dissapeared into these giant caverns in between the waves. "I just start saying, ohh my god, oh my god over the video" The lifeguard boats and choppers were out helping people. It took about 5 minutes for the water to stop moving. I am shocked no one died in it. The perspective was like seeing flies on the side of a mountain. At the end of the video, I pan down the cliffs and there were THOUSANDS of people up there watching.

    Heaviest, hollowest wave I ever surfed was at Calafia in Mexico. It was the biggest South Swell in about 10 years, mid october I think. Waves maxed out at about 12-15 foot faces, but as the swell built, the things just increased in hollowness and ferocity and had enough room in them to fit a party bus. And its a right hand point, so I was forced to go backside all day. I think I finally got a little covered up on one of my last ones, because I was so scared on every drop, I would just pump and race out in front of the section and get out in front of it and start throwing cutbacks the whole way down the time. You have to backdoor the wave, but it allowed you enough time on a big day, to stall and wait for impending doom, or just pump about 50 yards super fast before the lip hurls over. That and the mentioned time above were the most scared I have ever been out there. Calafia is way more dangerous, cause you are in mexico, and the point is a huge underwater set of jagged bar reefs and the inside slams into a boneyards that is a few hundred yards long. Its a place where you better make it, with no mistakes, or you could die. easy. I have never been happier to set foot on land. Never enjoyed a taco and a cold beer like the ones after that. It was one for the record books. I was with my boy sam, the guy from the Diamond Divers show that I posted the South Africa Great White shark video last week.
     

  3. goosemagoo

    goosemagoo Well-Known Member

    900
    May 20, 2011
    That'll be hard to one up. Sounds intense.

    Mine was at Duck pier. TOH+ post-storm surf. I don't even know how the 2 out of 3 of us made it out. That pier is 1/4 mile long and the end of it was well inside of the "shore break." Only caught 3 waves in 2 hrs. Getting in was a b!tch. Pretty much had to rag doll it in OH+ whitewater the last 75yds. to the beach.
     
  4. Speed Bump

    Speed Bump Well-Known Member

    324
    Jun 3, 2014
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    20-25' face of a massive Typhoon swell at a mysto reef in the Far East. Pretty mushy, backing off, and breaking over some deep old lava ridge or something in warm water. This is the same picture from my "Where there are no Surfers" thread. Stupidly, I decided it looked like fun from the cliffside temple where I shot the photo. Walled DOH inside didn't deter me, because I just walked out along the headland (the green mountain) shelf until I found a spot with a big rip. Squeaked out between sets and paddled a 1/4 mile to the outside bombers. Needed at least 9' of gun, brought 41" of bodyboard. Spooky with a lot of water moving around out there. I was thinking "at least it's a nice sunny day to drown on." Took about 40 minutes to hit the right combination of a big enough set to turn over and being deep enough to get up to speed and make the drop. Big waves move FAST. Even dropknee with semi-glass it was bouncy as ****. Kind of a contest between cutting back enough to have a steep enough face, and not going so deep as to get steamrolled by a house-sized foamball. Crazy long, fun ride, actually. Got blasted to smithereens when it closed out on the inside. Leash snapped like it wasn't there. Fins disappeared. Tumbled/swam in and lay on the beach like a drowned rat. One ride in and never again.
     
  5. zach619

    zach619 Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    Funny that you mentioned the "it looked like fun from the cliffside". That is exactly what happened to me at Calafia. An older buddy of mine, that was ex-navy seal and a true hellman in the water called me at 3am and said he would be at my house in 20 minutes and that "we were going to mexico". He said, bring something that can handle "size", so, i wipe my eyes, grab a 6'2 and a 6'5 and my 3 mil. By the time we arrived at the hotel Calafia, chris slapped a 10 dollar bill in a mexican hotel workers hand to watch the truck and he called all of them by first name and spoke perfect spanish. Sam and I walk over to the cliff side, the sun hadn't even come up yet, but there was enough light to see the wave. It looked PERFECT from the elevated view. It was sheet glass, 3 waves sets with a nice, super hollow right hand barrel. From the perspective, I guessed it was about 6-8 feet maybe... I got all giddy, couldn't even get my wetsuit on fast enough. I was just imagining myself standing up in these perfect backside shacks... By the time we entered the water through the cove on the northside, and paddled about 1/4 mile around the hotel and over to the point... I will never forget the feeling I had when I realized how big it really was... It was crazy, cause we paddled out and around with point with dry hair. All BS aside, I think I backed off the first 3-4 waves that came. I didn't even drop in until our buddy Chris who had the place dialed in snagged one and rode it about 400 yards. When I saw him in the distance paddling back, I was like, Okay, it's time... But seeing that hollow, crazy inverted face open up on the exposed reef on your left, definitely rattled my cage for about 30 minutes... I even stood up on like the 3rd wave I paddled for and I immediately kicked up and over the back before dropping into the slot... I was shook for sure. But again, once I got one under my belt, it was all okay. about 3 hours later, there were about 12-15 other guys on it. We cracked it though and had it to ourselves for a good 2 hours. I will never forget the adrenaline, emotion, fear and then sense of accomplishment I had that day. That was when I really felt like I had made it to the big leagues. Put fear aside eventually and trust your skills and conquer the dragon.... I can still smell the marine layer from that day everytime I think about. I still have the snapshots in my head of exactly what the reefs looked like as we paddled over the shallow, still, clear blue water in front of the hotel and made out way over to the "stadium"....
     
  6. Wahoowa

    Wahoowa Well-Known Member

    45
    Sep 2, 2009
    10-15 ft Wilderness in PR. Scared shtless with no defined channel. I only caught 3 waves, and none bigger than 12 ft that day. Saw some Jersey boys down the beach charging well overhead barrels through, cementing my status as chump.
     
  7. seldom seen

    seldom seen Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2012
    Hurricane Luis, 1995. Solid 12' faces at a protected point further up Narragansett Bay. The exposed points were bombing this day, with wave heights I never thought I'd see on the East Coast.

    The spot I was at has a beachbreak and the point at the end of the cove. Tried paddling out at the beachie to no avail, then just glided through the channel up to the point, still amazed at how easily I got out there.

    I was 14, it was my first experience in longer period surf, and with anything sizable. Anyway, tried to catch a couple waves and freaked out that I couldn't. What bothers me about this day was that I contemplated scaling the rocks to get in, which obviously could've had very bad consequences. Kept my cool, finally got my one wave that day and I'll never forget. A screaming hollow bomb of a left that peeled forever and I was shamelessly dodging the barrel. Rode it in then went to watch at the better known breaks, where it had to be 18-20 by the face. I vividly remember watching this catamaran sailing out through the breakwater and seeing waves taller than the mast.

    Anyway, never rode anything bigger since that day, and if I do, it will be at a point with a channel. 6-8' is plenty exciting for me at this stage in the game, and I'm ok with that.
     
  8. zach619

    zach619 Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    Yeah, it's amazing how the channel work around those reefs and points. I have a go-to spot on Sunset Cliffs when its 10-15 feet. Everyone else uses two other ways to paddle out. I am the ONLY person I have ever seen that takes the route I take, but after watching a HUGE swell one day, I noticed this completely flat area in between two of the more well known breaks there. There is no current that pulls you out and its a solid 10+ minute paddle, but EVERY time, I get out with dry hair. At certain points there is a huge right hander peeling your way and a big left on the other side, and you mind plays tricks on you, thinking its gonna come at you, but it gets super deep where I paddle and both waves just die into nothing... Its a great way to get your sh** straight. You paddle out on a HUGE day and have not even taken a duck dive. You can just sit in the middle, watch both lineups and then paddle over and pick your poison. I have NO idea why no one else takes that route out. Its completely visible from the Sunset Cliffs public park parking lot. You will see 15 guys in a line all paddling out one by one 1/4 mile north and 1/4 mile south, duck diving the whole way out....

    Not sure how it works on the east coast, but the OB pier is SUPER easy to get out on big 6-8 NW swells. You just sit about 2 feet off the pilings and the current just sucks your right out, and as the wave goes under the pier, the bottom changes from reef on the south side to sand on the north, so the combination of that with the waves dragging into the pilings under you, the wave will wedge up, scrape the pier, but never break... Again, it feels super sketchy, like ohh sh**, I am going to get slammed into these concrete pilings, but just keep calm and let the ocean pull you right out. Meanwhile, there are guys just getting worked out in the middle trying to get out. On big days, you see all the locals take a left all the way to the swim zone, exit the water, walk back to the pier and suck right out....
     
  9. Speed Bump

    Speed Bump Well-Known Member

    324
    Jun 3, 2014
    Same deal up north at *il** *tr***. On a good day, there's a rip right next to the jetty at the harbor mouth. Yes, the waves will wash up on the rocks and it looks like it'll mess you up, but there's no push, just a little foam to duck through.

    When it's truly huge and washing over the jetty, though, then it's time to paddle up the boat channel. Just watch out for harbor patrol. Done it once. Still love that feeling of being on the outside when it's huge and you're getting a little sketched about whether you're going to even be able to make it back in. Alive, at least.
     
  10. Ronnie Mund

    Ronnie Mund Well-Known Member

    277
    Jul 6, 2012
    Hurricane Gloria fall of 85, South Jersey. I was 8 years old and the set waves were at least 4+OH. I broke all 4 of my boards that day.
     
  11. worsey

    worsey Well-Known Member

    Oct 13, 2013
    pico alto when small ….big wave big rush kinda safe too at least compared to others...
     
  12. nkh422

    nkh422 Well-Known Member

    90
    Dec 7, 2013
    himalayas, on oahu. it was big and kind of mushy that day. tow in people were starting to leave as we paddled out. got 2 waves in about 2 hours. then a set came after paddling for a wave and not getting down the face, had to ditch my board. the front of the board broke off, and the leash wrapped around the tail and cut through to the stringer... made for an unpleasant swim. I was lucky though that the wave had at least pushed me in a ways. Lit one up back in the car, got some steak and a smoothie then everything was cool.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  13. DawnPatrol321

    DawnPatrol321 Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    10-12' Maria's in PR, don't have a great vivid story to share, just did my best to catch a few and get back to shore in one piece. Looking back it wasn't all that scary, but at the time I wasn't as comfortable in bigger waves as I am now.
     
  14. Kahuna Kai

    Kahuna Kai Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2010
    I caught Playa Hermosa at around 10 feet. Similar to some of the tales above, it looked perfect and inviting, but it was way more powerful than it looked, as Hermosa tends to be.

    Hurrican Irene in 2011 (i think not sure) it was macking. I would estimate 20 foot faces on the big night. No channel to paddle out because we're all beach break up in Jax. After a long ass difficult paddle, I surfed 2 waves. The first one I caught a speed chatter and ate it. The wave ripped off my trunks, glad they settled around my leash. Second wave I just took a poop stance and made a long drawn out bottom to top for about a hundred or so yards and straightened her out for the beach. I was exhausted and learned that I am not a big wave charger. 3 hour and two waves? I'll stick to more playful stuff.
     
  15. cepriano

    cepriano Well-Known Member

    Apr 20, 2012
    biggest iv been out was probly 15 ft,and it was massive and scary.i wouldn't mind surfing a bigger crumbly wave,but u venture out when its 15ft and breaking top to bottom u can seriously break ur neck or drown.iv had a couple 2 wave holdowns,get washed around for 20 seconds only to pop up in time to take it right on the head.in the future id like to venture into the bigwave arena.something about it just seems so much better than getting a 6ft barrel.iv never surfed a legit big wave,as in 30 ft faces,just gotta work ur way up the food chain
     
  16. kidrock

    kidrock Well-Known Member

    Aug 1, 2010
    Anna Nicole Smith was my biggest.
     
  17. CDsurf

    CDsurf Well-Known Member

    391
    May 10, 2014
    I've traveled to a few places on "good swells" and NJ still has beat them if you count me surfing it. The biggest I've attempted was playa dominical, a beachbreak in CR. I have never failed to make it out in any attempt and I couldn't that day. Nobody else made it out either so I feel better about that. I would say it double to triple overhead or so but I have no idea. All I know was that it looked menacing and the current was sweeping me fast.
     
  18. metard

    metard Well-Known Member

    Mar 11, 2014
    totes me goats

    that place gets good
     
  19. yankee

    yankee Well-Known Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    Nothing humongous like you buoyz have cited (great stuff).

    I have a pic of me on wave face in CR that is x3 my height; makes me look like a puny fella.
    I'm 6'2, 215. I felt very small that day.
     
  20. yankee

    yankee Well-Known Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    Seen Wildo going OFF: 25' & only the best out there. That didn't include me.