According to this article in Surfer Today, big wave surfer Jeff Rowley was buried so deep after getting pummeled at Jaws that he had to deploy an airbag safety device he was wearing. Apparently, he also has a miniature tank of O2 with him as well.
I’m not sure if the spill in the second wave in this video is the wipeout in question, but it could certainly be a candidate. I’m also unable to confirm if Rowley was wearing the Billabong V1 wetsuit developed by Shane Dorian and Billabong, which was announced last summer.
It’s good to know that the relatively new safety device for surfing can do its job outside of test cases. Wearable airbag technology is proving to be indispensable gear for big wave riders like Rowley and backcountry skiers and snowboarders alike, who risk being buried in tree wells and avalanches.
South African Bart Willems paddled out with a hi-def board-mounted Hero cam to let us all know what it’s like to experience one of the gnarliest waves on the planet. Good thing it was a “relatively” tame swell. In the end, I’m not sure what’s scarier, the waves or the depth of the lineup.