Category: Surfing

Unbounded Courage: the First Surfers to Ride Waimea Bay

When I was a young surfer I read about the first surfers to ride Waimea Bay in 1957. Surfers at that time were too afraid to surf Waimea, and for good reason.From the beach Waimea appeared too big, too fast, too steep and just generally too treacherous to ride. Add to that a raging rip current, sharky waters, and the presence of a church on the point and a Hawaiian heiau in the valley and it all added up to a scary, forbidden place.

SmartFin: Environmental Wave of the Future

As the world’s environmental problems expand the challenge is to keep up with the increasingly larger scale of the issues. Decades ago we worried about individual beaches, now we are focused on whole coastlines, and indeed entire oceans are at risk.  To keep pace marine biologists and oceanographers have deployed huge arrays of sensors across the…

Surfing Crystal Pier: Life as a Grommet

Crystal Pier, 1966 In the long arc of my surfing life my early years remain indelibly etched on my psyche, as is true of most surfers. Why is simple: we are pulled in by the ocean’s allure, rapidly learn her inner-most secrets, measure our courage against her power, but are ultimately humbled by fear. It is the beginning of…

Cortes Bank: the Largest Wave on the Planet

…Dawn’s early light revealed a shimmering plume of spray. A Himalayan peak rose to life far off the bow. It was shaped like a great, volcanic cone– 43 million pounds of water, terrible and unrideable. Its foam exploding an unknowable number of feet into the air and churned the surrounding water into a 360-degree maelstrom…

Surfing on Mars

The swell rises slowly from the depths as it begins to feel the jagged, rocky seafloor. You notice a darkening in the distance against the red horizon as the wave jacks quickly up to 10, 20, then 30 feet. As you scratch outside the wave begins its slow cruise towards you, giving you plenty of time to turn…