A couple of very cool things about this video. The first is that you get to see people at the highest level of surfing actually being human. You know, doing what we may do before going out to surf a head-high beach break: deciding on a board, tying on new leashes, getting antsy. It’s a nice bit of levity that so many surf videos ignore in place of sponsor logos and overly-stereotypical hard rock montages.
The second is the footage. It’s not all GoProed and first person POV. We get to see just how vertical a wave like Peahi gets when everything is firing, and it’s scary. But if you’re one of the skilled few … what a way to live.
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.