A Life-Changing Session Begins a Long Adventure

Itinerary: Ireland 5 weeks, Hawaii 4 weeks and LA 1 week. Sounds good.

I’ve been in Ireland for 2 weeks already and I can safely say it has been filled wit high action! The highlight session was 3 days ago where Ollie, Tom, Ian and myself found ourselves looking over the cliff at some dangerous mounds of water breaking on a slab 300 feet below. Half an hour later I found myself at the foot of a beautiful arena and staring down the barrel of epic, heavy waves. It looked 6 ft and pumping. Then the ski came around the corner to lend some perspective. Ollie and Tom looked like ants and I realized it was far bigger than I had imagined. Ollie’s first wave was 10 ft and he back-doored one of the most menacing pieces of ocean I had ever seen. The wave ended up running out of water and gurgling him up.

I thought, maybe this isn’t for me…

I paddled out and sat with some of the body boarders who were paddling some bombs. However, when the sets came through, there was an unspoken agreement; the ocean was in charge, and the paddlers gave way for the tow. We watched set after set drain off the reef and reveal the slate of rock that was barely covered by water. This did little to calm my nerves. I was praying hard  throughout and when the boys kindly offered me the rope I felt absolute peace. It was incredible. I got towed into two sketchy ones which gave me a serious rattling.

And then Tom whipped me into a bomb which was arguably the heaviest wave of my life.

When I saw the bump of water moving in I thought to myself, oh my goodness this is a massive one. I let go and put myself behind the peak and the ocean went low tide on me. Man it was violent. It was sucking so hard off the reef that I found myself riding straight towards the cliffs with the lip reaching out over me. I was blurted  out the end with spit and foamball.

Shortly after that Ollie nearly drowned.

We all stood on the rocks afterwards and knew we had just experienced something special.

rileys ireland

Repost from @patches_w. For perspective, that wave is 8ft

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Photo: Aaron Rich. The boys after the session

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