Seeing Western Red
Russel Ord at CyclopsRead more
We surfed a wave known as Cyclops’s big brother, 20 kilometres further out to sea, and it was big and we got some good waves and Ordy shot some good frames but I ended up with 10 stitches in my head. The next day we hit Cyclops. It was meant to be a bit smaller and with no wind but when we pulled up it wasn’t really telling us much. I stuck a medical glove on my head and a balaclava over that to keep my stitches dry. I was keen to surf but I wanted to see a few waves roll through first. At Cyclops one in every 10 waves is rideable from behind the peak so I wanted make sure I was dialled on which waves to go. (Brett) Burcher and (Paul) Morgz were pretty over it. At that stage it only looked six-to-eight foot but you knew if you blew it you’d get dry docked but Ordy is trying to bluff us, going “Fuck this, the photographer will get one if you don’t.” He was acting a bit pissed off trying to coax us into getting out there. So 10 minutes pass and he says, “Oh well, I’ll show youse how to do it, give us a board.” He’s at least 15 kilos heavier than me and he jumps on my board. Me and Burch are on Morgz’ ski towing Ordy and Morgz is on Ordy’s ski with Ordy’s camera shooting. Burch is driving and I’m sitting on the back trying to let Ordy know when to let go of the rope. We tow him into a big lump of swell and he lets go of the rope way too early. He’s bouncing, bouncing, trying to punch his front foot through the front of the board to get enough momentum to get down this thing. Luckily he missed it cause he would have been killed. The way Cyclops breaks, it goes from a lump of swell into the squarest pit on dry rock in a split second – flat swell to square pit! Anyway we bolt in and get him and I’m like, “Dude, don’t even catch the wave, don’t even think about it, you’re gonna die!’”
Me and Burch are crapping. I don’t know what Morgz was thinking but he must have seen it all from front on. Ordy’s like, “Nah nah nah, I’m gonna get one.” Anyway, sure enough he’s back on the rope calling out and pointing at this swell. He wants this wave and again he lets go of the rope too early and there he is pumping my board, trying to put his foot through the deck of it, and then he’s into it, and then I see his head and top half of his body free fall into this thing. He just vanishes. I think: “Oh. My. God! He’s gone over the falls! He’s gonna die!” I scream at Burch “Let’s get him, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!” I know his wife Kate and his three kids. I honestly think we’ll be heading in to retrieve his body off the dry rock shelf when out of the corner of my eye the wave spits into deep water and Ordy fucking airs off the back! I’m just like… “ARE YOU FREAKING KEEEEEEEDING ME!” I still don’t know how he made it. I stood up on the ski with my arms spread wide yelling, “YOU ARE MY HERO!” I don’t think I’d seen him surf before that. Some of the best surfers in the world who surf slabs wouldn’t have made that wave.
After it we all jump on Ordy’s ski and Morgz hands him his camera and he’s flicking through the sequence, looking at it going, “Out of focus, delete. That one’s really soft, delete. Not sharp enough, delete.” Are you kidding me? If that was me I wouldn’t have cared how shit the photo was. I would’ve blown it up and hung it on my wall. He got barrelled at Cyclops! He’s a photographer!
Anyway, I get my first wave and I cut my knee open and get six stitches in my knee cap. We go to the hospital and they’re like, “Didn’t we see you yesterday and tell you you can’t go surfing for 10 days?” It was pretty classic.
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