1 of 19
Shane Dorian's board marking time at Peahi. "A couple of dicey moments at Jaws." He said "If you're not getting caught inside then you're not trying hard enough."© 2014 Mike Neal
Tyler Larronde slipped lead into his boxing gloves that morning.© 2014 Mike Neal
Shane Dorian setting rail on a familiar face in a less than friendly place.© 2014 Mike Neal
Nowhere to hide© 2014 Mike Neal
Considering how unusual and localised this system was it was surprising that it was forecasted so precisely two weeks out. Crucially for the session and a new low pressure system developed once the swell was already in the water, preventing the stronger winds from continuing south after creating the swell.© 2014 magicseaweed.com
Ahanu Tson-Dru on a regular looking wave, just scaled-up somewhat.© 2014 Mike Neal
Except if this hit you it has consequnces, Ahanu Tson-Dru.© 2014 Mike Neal
Shane Dorian hits the wall.© 2014 Mike Neal
Mark Healey XXL ride of anyone's lifetime. "Hadn't surfed in a couple weeks because of a back injury, and this was my first wave back! Took a while to stop beating around the bush and man up on one. This place is so damn intimidating to paddle at that size."© 2014 Mike Neal
Mark Healey 2 of 8.© 2014 Mike Neal
Mark Healey 3 of 8.© 2014 Mike Neal
Mark Healey 4 of 8.© 2014 Mike Neal
Mark Healey 5 of 8.© 2014 Mike Neal
Mark Healey 6 of 8.© 2014 Mike Neal
Mark Healey 7 of 8.© 2014 Mike Neal
Mark Healey 8 of 8.© 2014 Mike Neal
Peahi’s seasonal debut didn’t disappoint, Greg Long termed it, “The heaviest Jaws paddle session I have been a part of.” This unusual northerly storm system provided a memorable opening day on Maui and a deeply sober event, the most probable drowning of Kirk Passmore, on Oahu’s North Shore.
Often big waves and their practitioners are described in breathy superlatives of close shaves with death and incredible feats of derring-do. A death brings into sharp focus that banging the life out of a subject’s vocabulary in no way lessens the risk involved. Big waves are deadly, as we are reminded of with depressing regularity, and anyone prepared to go out there and push themselves over the edge should be wrapped in laurel and applauded through the streets. Greg Long is renowned for being prepared and still he wasn’t immune to almost drowning at Cortez Bank 11 months ago. Maya Gabeira had to be resuscitated out at Nazare only a few weeks back. This is the proving ground and paddling Peahi its apex.
Welcome to the plateau. It's where we gather to watch Yago Dora soar above our heads.
These are the fortunate few. Many epic sessions have fallen by the wayside, victims to our ruthless monthly culls, but the results are wondrous to behold.
Patagonia is a challenging lover, said the English novelist, Bruce Chatwin. It haunts you, it bewitches you, it wraps you in its arms and does not let you go.
Welcome to the winners' podium. The cream of February lies before you in four spectacular Atlantic sessions, big barrels being the theme.
The symbiosis of surfer and winter. The Astray Collective and Finisterre bring you a short narrated by Matt Smith and produced by Mickey Smith