Image by Jason Childs.

Mark Matthews Called It The Best Wave Of His Life

And It’s Also One Of Our Sport’s Greatest Injury Comebacks

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Eighteen months ago big wave charger Mark Mathews suffered a blow that put his entire life on hold. Nerve damage sustained in his ankle during the treatment of an injury he copped at a remote slab had most specialists believing he’d have trouble walking properly again. Surfing? Forget about it. Typical of Mathews though he’s been grinding through intense rehab in a bid to get back in the pit ever since and during the recent Cyclone Gita swell at Kirra he defied all the odds to thread what he calls one of the best waves of his life. Now living on the Goldy SW asked Chalky to give us the rundown on Gita and the surfers who got to know her best with the following captions.

Mark Mathews by Corey Wilson

I’m still buzzing from that wave and I swear it’ll go down as one of my favourite waves of all-time. It’s been over a year and half since I’ve felt anything like that. I’m so wobbly when I first get to feet trying to get my feet in the right spot. So I got them in the right spot and then I could see how much the wave was gonna throw and when it pitched I was like a deer in headlights, I just froze instead of surfing cause I hadn’t seen anything like that for so long. I’d actually got a bigger one before that and it flogged me but that beating gave me confidence because the foot hung in there. I was on a high for like a week after that. It was as good as the best wave I’ve ever surfed at the Right and probably better than any wave I’ve had at Kirra even when I could surf.

 

Dean Harrington by Corey Wilson

There’s a period during the day when everyone kinda clears the water. Either cause the tide goes too low or it goes a little funky. Dingo surfed the whole way through it. He got a two-hour window where there was hardly anyone out and it was huge. This wave was the best moment I saw and I watched it for three days straight.

 

Dean Morrison by Juan Medina 

Dingo was in the water on the Monday morning and he was absolutely lovin’ it cause Shaun had had a big night and he couldn’t believe he was missing it. He was laughing his head off.

 

Brent Dorrington by Jason Childs

Brenno’s barrel was absolutely crazy. He paddled into it. Parko was too deep and so Brenno went and it was ginormous Kirra. Even when you see old footage of cyclone swells it just never looks that big and heavy. If it’s not one of the best barrels ever seen out there then it’s definitely the barrel of the swell. Must have looked mental on the inside.

 

Joel Parkinson by Juan Medina

Parko was better than anyone out there by a fair bit. He reads it the best and his ability is so good and when those two factors come together he just gets soooo pitted. I’d be watching, see him get so drained, go to the toilet and when I’d get back he’d just be getting blown out of another one. This photo? He would have had 40 of those a over these few days. He knows exactly which ones to go, when to race, when to slow down and that’s not easy to do unless you surf there all the time. I had no idea what I was doing and you think you know how to read it but it’s so different when you’ve got that wall reeling off so far out in front of you.

 

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