Jaws was definitely a highlight for me from the trip! Tyler and I were debating whether to go or not, we said a little prayer and suddenly both felt it was the right call. We jumped on a flight the next day, we picked up our laani(classy) rental car and my 10’6 Lyle Carlson beast which had just arrived from Cali.
The following afternoon, I paddled out to the legendary wave, Jaws. It was a fun size but super windy! HOWEVER THE BUOYS WERE 20FT @ 20SECONDS so we knew in the next few hours a massive swell was going to hit. I waited patiently for a west bowl wave and didn’t realize I was drifting into the impact zone. I floated over a wave and was horrified to see the biggest wall of water that i had ever seen! I knew I wasn’t going to make it over the wave. It was drawing me in towards it , sucking up the water and it stood up tall as the energy felt the reef. I was paddling head down, trying to control my breathing while praying for power and peace. As the wave towered over me I leapt to my feet on the board and dove into the face, thinking I’m going over the falls for sure. I swam through the bubble of energy suspended in the eye of the storm. I felt my board start pulling and I thought, here we go, going over. My leash went ‘ting’ and suddenly I was free. I had made it! I swam all the way in and asked a ski driver if he had seen my board. He pointed for the rocks…I picked my board up and it was absolutely smashed, totaled!
I walked up the cliff and watched from above as 30-40ft backdoor-like bombs freight-trained down the reef. It was unbelievable to see!
The next day we scored perfect 15-20ft waves with light offshore winds. Josh Redman lent me his 9’6. I had one really cool barrel and watched Josh drive through one of the tubes of his life. It was a pretty special day!
Thanks Peahi, see you next year!
The last week has been pumping huge barrels. When I woke up this morning I was psyched the waves were small cause my body is ended and my barrel-ometer is ticking over.
3 Days ago was just ridiculous. Tyler red and I linked on a sick one at Off The Wall while the barrel fest continued at Backdoor and Pipe with Kelly Slater and Jon Florence…
Yesterday I paddled out at first light again, and had one of the best Pipe wave I’ve had. After watching so many bombs go by day-after-day and acting more as a spectator than anything else, when this double up tee-pee approached, I looked around to see who was going, and everyone was calling me in! That was something! I hard “Go Bromdog” so I spun around and put myself deep, focusing really hard on the drop and paddling super hard down the face. I bottom turned and was super deep so I let go of the rail and pumped no hand into a beautiful cavern. Wow it was a good view. I pulled up super high into the next section and grabbed my rail thinking, this is gonna be like my Wave of the Winter barrel. Suddenly the shock wave sent me flying and I went down. I was psyched to get some compliments from some of the local chargers.
About 3 hours later I was sitting at Off The Wall trying to get a wave in. Zak Noyle and Brent Bielmann were swimming and most of the big shot pro’s had headed in. This massive double came through and I dropped onto the rail and bottomoed turned into one of the biggest barrels of my life. I remember this thick lip reaching out over me, far far into the flat in front of the wave. We linked up a really cool shot and then suddenly the shock wave hit me in the chest. It seriously felt like Mike Tyson had punched me in the chest. I was badly winded and tried to keep myself relaxed until I got to the surface. I was washed up on the beach and sat over my board feeling super shaken up and started coughing up some blood! Luckily that stopped shortly after, but now I feel like I was in a Springbok-New Zealand rugga match yesterday.
I’m making a decision tomorrow whether to follow this `Wednesday swell to Jaws. The forecast is for giant, clean waves and big west bowl barrels!
Just wana say thanks to the Brand family for such warm hospitality over the last two weeks.
It’s been onshore here on the North Shore for a week. While the waves have been super average, it has allowed us to see some other adventures.
My mate, Bret Thompset, picked Tyler Waker and I up from the airport and we stayed at his house for 3 days on the South Shore. We hiked up a seriously beautiful path out the back of his house and into the jungle. It felt like we had been transported into Jurassic Park! We were suddenly surrounded by gigantic trees that must have been close to 1000 years old. We followed the trail up to a cliff that spat water out into a pool 100 ft. The water licked the face of a smooth volcanic terrace which was covered in ‘green’, giving us the feeling that we were deep in the Pacific jungle.
We also had the privilege of watch 5 hours of UFC at Hooters, where Jon Jones smashed this other dude who was an Olympic wrestler, and ate some really good Loco Moco which is a Hawaiian traditional dish.
I’ve moved in with Kiron Jabour for a couple days and man its amazing! They live on the beach in front of Himalayas and their family is super epic! We are staring down the barrel of really good waves, so it is finally time to wax up the barrel stick again and back door the peak.
I’m tired, sitting in the Dublin airport and waiting for my long journey to Hawaii to begin. I keep slipping into day dreams about the incredible experience I’ve had here in Ireland. Riley’s, Mullaghmore, Supertubos and Pampa, memories of waves ridden that have been life changing.
Yesterday was a perfect send off with big, hollow, shallow, intense, spitting barrels under the cliffs near Lahinch. I was trading off waves with some of the friendliest chargers I know. These dudes are always jolly and humble, then suddenly they’re paddling into monster slabs and the don’t even mention a word about it. I have so much respect for these guys. They are as gnarly as they come!
Thanks for the most amazing vibes Ireland and a special thanks to Ian Mitchinson who warmly welcomed me into his home and took me on some wild, cold surf adventures!
I’m meeting up with good friend and top-dog photographer, Tyler Walker, in Dubai and then we’re heading off for some warmer adventures on North Shore, Oahu…Pipeline here we come!