Watching from the sidelines on one of the biggest North Shore days in recent memory. By Pat O'Connell
Keep in mind that this day was a whole 'nother level from when we normally "hop on the ski." Closeout sets unfolded all the way from Backyards to Revelations. 30-footers were shutting down Waimea. And the mythical Outside Log Cabins, the place where Bradshaw rode the "biggest wave ever," was peeling like your local pointbreak — at about 200 feet. Maybe 250.
So Rob and I headed out there anyway. No intentions to surf it. Just like those ambulance chasers who drive around looking for accidents. We wanted to see waves that scared us. And wipeouts that made us scream. When we got out there, we were shocked to find almost no one around. Aamion was out there with the Malloys, and Garrett McNamara and Kealii Mamala were out, but that was about it. I guess everyone else was either at Waimea or Jaws.
The second you see one of these 30-foot proper sets wedge up at Outer Logs, you realize it's the best big wave in the world. Just 200 yards of vertical wall, peeling perfectly into deep water. And I was blown away at what Garrett and Kealii were doing out there. They had so much gear on they looked like superheroes. But they were surfing like superheroes, carving 60-foot faces like it was 6-foot Trestles. The Malloys also got some good ones, until Aamion got rolled on the Ski trying to save Chris. The chops were bigger than my beat-up Volvo station wagon out there.
Rob and I never did ride a wave and we didn't really care. We knew we didn't have the right equipment and weren't properly prepared. But just to see it all go down first hand was a privilege. I almost feel like I had some crazy big-wave session myself -- especially when we narrowly missed another huge closeout set on the way in.
While we were out there, we captured a few moments. Keep in mind that this is about the worst footage you'll ever see. I've watched higher-quality videos of Bigfoot and UFOs. But it'll at least give you an idea of the waves these guys rode today. Waves that will likely go down in history as some of the biggest of the decade. — Pat O