"One of the Biggest Waves Surfed at La Grav" Pat Beven, France, 2016

Jason Lock

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Updated 29d ago

Way back in 2016, Pat Beven hammered into this crazy-looking French keg at Hossegor's premier beachie, La Graviere. And recently, the image has resurfaced from the depths of social media. And though it is a five-year-old call back, it still has the ability to melt minds, because it is one of the biggest waves ever surfed over there.

Photographer, Thomas Pitois was out this day as south-west France's infamous gravel pit went into over drive. With the image captured, Thomas went on to hand draw some straight lines, seen in the foreground of the image, to help smooth out the sand. Oh and note, Pat Beven paddled this thing.

“That day I was shooting on the beach as I often do when there are these big offshore conditions, where only the strongest are in the water. I think there were no more than five people in that day,” Thomas told MSW last week.

Forecast: La Grav

The image in question, in full frame.

The image in question, in full frame.

© 2021 - Thomas Pitois

“I had to go away for a few minutes because I had left my phone in my car, then, when I came back, I had the chance to take this photo.

“I was lying face down on the sand because I wanted to have the sand in the frame. Looking back at it now, I regret that a little because we can't see Pat's feet but...that's how it is.

“It is one of the biggest waves to be surfed in the gravel pit, say some locals. Anyway, I saw Pat after who congratulated me, I was then proud to have been able to mark this occasion, especially since Pat is an icon here and respected by all.

“I recently put this photo edited for the occasion on Instagram. I added the lines by hand on all the photos now to differentiate myself, I kept the main part of the wave the same of course, it's too gnarly.”

Of this wave, Pat added: "I've surfed every time the waves have been pumping in Hossegor and this, for me, was the biggest I've ever surfed. I remember it was really close to the shore, almost like a shore break.

"And when I came out, I saw Mark Mathews and the told me it looked more like Puerto Escondido. Even Sancho said the same thing. No step offs here, either. It was a paddle wave [laughs]."