This clip is from about 3 years ago. I had gotten frustrated with the crowd and had decided to lineup outside and deep. When a big set came, I let the first wave go by (that’s the smart / safe thing to do — though it took a number of years before I gained that patience). As the second wave began to stand up, I thought to myself, “I have this.” I turned, paddled and then realized that the wave was filling in from the west. With the angle of the wave, it was going to close out across the bowl. I pulled back only to turn around and find that I had paddled myself into the absolute worst position possible — in the impact zone of the bowl — just as the largest wave of the day was rearing up. I paddled as fast as I could at the wave, then dove off my board and swam deep once I saw the wave starting to break.
Fortunately, I somehow snuck under the wave. The lip missed me by no more than a few feet. My board experienced a different fate. I took a minor beating, but managed to make it out in one piece.
The slideshow should be cued to the right spot, but in case it isn’t, my wave is on slide 15. I’m the guy that dives off his board (in the first clip) just before the wave lands on him. I’m too far to the right to be seen in the second clip. After it was all over, they interviewed me briefly in the channel and that bit is captured here as well. It wasn’t until I saw this video clip online the next morning that I realized how close I was to possibly being knocked unconscious and drowning. That gave me pause. For a few days, I considered quitting big wave surfing. Not because I was afraid of dying — but because I was afraid of dying before being able to share the things that I had discovered over the previous several years. That felt like a tragic ending to this story.
This “close call” actually led to me deciding to share my ideas more openly as an “insurance policy.” The thinking was that if I put the ideas out there — that would create some immunity from the “tragic ending” that I had contemplated.
Note that at this point in my life, I don’t have a wife. I don’t have kids. The political philosophy work (see CLLBRTV) that I do is my primary focus and the thing that I care about most. At the same time, I didn’t exactly want to give up the thrill and excitement of surfing big waves. The threat of death actually gave me the nudge that I needed to start putting these concepts out into the world.
Enjoy the clip!