Wangdu Hovey from Peahi Surf Media pointing his lens, sitting on a jetski or surfing and sharing some awesome Jaws moments, including his own wipe out.
1. Shane Dorian
Watching Shane Dorian pull into his February 10 ride of the year nomination barrel. I probably was the closest human to him when he came out, and seeing his mastery in that intense situation was inspiring.
Shane Dorian, JAWS 10th Feb 2016 Photo: Wangdu Hovey from Jetski
2. Mark Healey
Being on the left at Jaws during the Mega Swell and watching Mark Healey drop into a 60 footer right in front of me. The left is intense and there’s a smaller window of safety to shoot from than the right. You have to be really aware of your surroundings and shooting it makes it twice as difficult and dangerous as just being there.
3. The historic Brock Swell
Watching my friends have Jaws all to themselves during the historic Brock Swell. The Eddie Aikau invitational at Waimea Bay was running so all the big name surfers stayed on Oahu. The ultimate soul session went down, and watching the boys tackle massive, stormy Jaws was incredible, oh yeah, I towed into a few that day too.
DK Walsh Brock Swell, Photo: Wangdu Hovey
Tikanui Smith, Brock Swell. Photo: Wangdu Hovey
Will Skudin, Brock Swell. Photo: Wangdu Hovey
4. Big wave surfing skyrocket
Seeing the level of Big Wave Surfing Skyrocket led by a group of young surfers from Maui, particularly Albee Layer, Tyler Larronde, Paige Alms, and the Walsh Bros. On February 10 the Maui crew went off, and Tyler and Albee were both sent to the hospital, within two weeks Albee was back on the water scoring a ride of the year nomination. Unbelievable.
Albee Layer. Photo: Wandu Hovey
Paige Alms, Feb 10th, Photo: Wangdu Hovey
5. Wangdu’s Jaws wipe out
The day after the historic Mega Swell, my partner Micah Harris and I went out to Peahi, the conditions were epic, glassy and approachable but there was still some size. I got into a nice sized left in the first twenty minutes and started feeling comfortable. I let my guard down and the next thing I knew a large set was rolling in. I was deep on the north peak and a little too far inside. I paddled vertical up the face of the wave, when I got to the top I felt it pulling me back like a waterfall, I threw my board to the side and relaxed as I as thrown backwards over the falls, I fell for what felt like 4-5 seconds landing deep in the water. panicked, I pulled my inflation chord and my buoyancy vest inflated giving me a sense of security, the underwater current pushed me towards the shore for a solid 30 seconds, when I came up, another large wave landed right on top of me as I corked up and down in the whitewater, then one whitewater ball after another hit me all the way to the rocks as I barely missed the worst part of the whole bay, the jagged point in the middle, luckily my board was still attached and I jumped on it and mustered my last 10 percent of entry to paddle to the East cove the” last resort”. I was so happy to get to the shore, it took me 10 minutes to regain my composure enough just to walk back over the jagged rocks with my big wave board back to the main bay worst of all, my pregnant wife watched the whole episode from the cliff.
6. Rescuing friends
Being out there as water safety for a few of my friends was just as intense as surfing it, you have to rush in over the boiling soup of white water and time your pick up just right, being careful not to hit the surfer or miss them leaving them gassed and stranded. Once you have them on your ski, you have to race around a giant white water ball to get to safety hopefully not tipping your jet ski and losing it on the rocks. Much respect to all the dedicated water safety guys, like Kurtis Chong Kee and Kolomoana, and Daniel Silvagno.