Searching the BIG Ones Series / Indonesia

Biggest wave surfed:
The biggest wave surfed in metres….. I don’t know. There is no evidence of that and once it gets over 8 foot Hawaiian scale, its hard to judge how big It is for me. Big waves have another scale of thickness and volume of water. Many people have different scales of size. For example, a 20 ft face wave will only be called 10 ft in Hawaiian scale. Some say you judge from the back of the wave, but some waves have no back. The best scale I have for you is universal for everyone…. That is head high (say six foot face or 1.8 metres or 3 ft Hawaiian) , double over head, which is a really good size and triple over head … which is getting very serious!! To answer that… my biggest wave was at least triple over head (if I was standing up).

Where and When:
It was about 6 years ago at a Bombie off Phillip Island. I have surfed it several times and is only good a few times every year.

I ride Island surf skis, shaped by a surfboard shaper, designed by me and him … originally Tommy Tyrell, but since he retired, now Glyndon Ringrose.

Main thoughts about that feeling...
My thoughts about that surf… …. Well…. …. , how do I start. Its like a drug… fear, adrenalin… a sense of conquering all come to mind.
When it’s big your bottom turns can be huge… like the length of a soccer field. You might catch a wave for 250 yards and only do a few turns, and you don’t want to make too many mistakes!

3 key things happened in that session… I caught my biggest wave and nearly nose dived on the take off. Then it had a huge long wall to carve up. One wave I caught successfully down the face and the white water overtook me and swallowed me up! For a few seconds I was still dropping down engulfed in whitewater hoping to get out, but I got nailed. Then, the worst fear of any big wave surf, I got caught inside in the worst place. I tried to roll under the wave, but it picked me up and I felt myself falling inside the barrel.( Its amazing how time slows down, like I hade a lot of time to think about the sudden impact about to happen.) Then the explosion happened and pushed me out the back of the wave in the air pocket. What could have been the beating of my life turned out to be a fantastic let off.

Advices to big wave enthusiasts:
If you want to surf big waves some of the things you need to take into account;
Be very alert, watch the horizon always.. know where a big wave will break 4 or 5 waves before it gets to you. 
Be prepared to put yourself in the take off zone, It takes a lot of balls to sit under those mountains before they break.
When you make your mind up, never pull back
Sit a bit wider of the impact zone and paddle in when the wave comes (that way you can escape the bigger ones)
Have a board that can handle big waves… you don’t want sliding on your bottom turn (my fins are way back).
Be a good paddler and a good swimmer, and hold your breath.
Your paddle becomes the worst danger… let it go or it might take your arm off!
Stay away from the lip… it will cause the most damage.. sometimes you can pull into the barrel and ride it as long as you can the wipeout wont be as bad.… keep the nose down., don’t get sucked over the falls.
A paddler has a height advantage and can see the waves coming easier than a surfer. Look out especially when going to the top of the waves
Like I said, Its like a drug when you get your biggest or best wave of your life… you just want more…a bigger or better one… till the next big swell.

Next challenge:
Next challenge… I hope Indonesia will be good this year, and maybe a few good ones at home as well. …..Its all up to Huey, the surf god.

Thanks Bernie!!