Storm Surfing Could Just About Be The Most Dangerous Sport In The World
Would you risk life and limb to ride the perfect storm?
For big wave surfers, the onset of the hurricane season in June is a very welcome time in the surfing calendar. This arguably bonkers lot follow the ongoing quest to ride some of the biggest storm swells on the planet.
"These clips are absolutely insane!"
These waves are so big surfers have to be towed out by jet-ski to reach them. If something goes wrong, there's not much that can be done except to hold your breath and hope for the best.
After seeing some of this footage, I think I'll leave big wave surfing to the pros...
[part title="Waimea Bay, 2009"]
When big wave surfer Shane Dorian describes a wave as "a monster", then you know it's gonna be pretty huge.
Check out this insane session at Waimea Bay in December 2009. Dorian was joined by fellow surfer Mark Healey on the wave as El Niño bought a huge bout of stormy weather to the Hawaiian islands.
The result is some extraordinary conditions and incredible footage Apparently you could see the monster sets building for three minutes before the waves actually broke![part title="Hurricane Hercules Hits Belharra, 2014"]
When Hurricane Hercules battered Britain in January 2014, the rest of Europe didn't escape either.
This footage was filmed in the famed French break of Belharra.The camerawork may be a bit shaky, but it gets you up close and personal with these monster waves!
[part title="Florida, Halloween '91"]
Surfing is hard enough, but imagine trying to surf and avoid bits of pier that have been ripped out of their foundations!
In 1991, Florida's coastline was battered by a huge swell which flooded homes and destroyed cars. Amongst all the chaos, some keenos still managed to grab their boards and head out to ride the 15-20 footers.
It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt, just check out the lucky escape at 01:59![part title="Hurricane John, 2006"]
Questions have been raised about the credibility of this clip but for now we'll assume it's completely real. It's just 25 seconds of unadulterated wave-action as Darryl 'Flea' Virostko surfs a huge break at Mavericks in California during a winter storm in 2006.
The commentary is so raw!
Speculation suggests it was used as a commercial for one of the big energy drinks. Whatever the case, we'll never know how he made it through the wave at 0:12!
[part title="Storm Surfers"]
These waves might not be the biggest in the world, but the fact remains that three-time Pipe Master champion Tom Carroll and surf legend Ross Clarke-Jones chase storms around the world for a living and make films about it as they go.
It's a wonder they're still doing it - Storm Surfers 3D was released in 2012 when Clarke-Jones was nearly pushing 50!
Check out the mega-wave at 3:02, it is beyond huge!
[part title="Andrew Cotton, Nazare"]
Andrew Cotton is probably the most famous plumber in Britain after riding possibly the biggest wave ever in February 2014.
When the Winter Storms of 2014 headed our way, big wave surfers flocked to Nazaré to ride the perfect storm.
As a result of his daredevil feats, this clip from Nazaré was nominated for the prestigious Billabong XXL Ride of the Year award.
We were lucky enough to have a chat with the main man himself just a few weeks ago so check out the interview here!
Not bad for a man that fixes sinks for a living.