Where Do You Look Right Now? There Is Too Much Mental!
Trying to make sense of Nias, Uluwatu and the madness around this reef shattering swell.Read more
Are you on Instagram? If your answer is no, well, god bless you. You’re free of the time wasting, self loathing sparking social media giant that lives in your pocket, and never, ever goes to sleep. But right now you’re also missing out on perhaps the wildest explosion of surf content in a 24 hour period that has ever hit the platform.
It’s a little bit like the aftermath of a natural disaster. New angles, fresh bits of footage, different moments from what has to be the most significant swell in years is coming in faster than one can make sense of it all; that will have to come later. But for now let’s try to place down some of the highlights of Indonesia’s Big Wednesday, July 25, 2018.
The first thing to light up surfers’ phones all over the world was the footage of a boat drifting into the heavy Nias line-up and getting pitched over the falls by a macking set.
Daniel Russo’s Instagram had it from this angle:
While filmmaker Owen Milne, still on the job for MySurf.tv, posted a quick Insty clip filming the back of his camera that went viral:
And perhaps the best footage of it of all coming from Koa Rothman’s filmer, Jack Germain.
Iconic photographer Peter “Joli” Wilson helped clarify what exactly happened, posting to Instagram:
“From someone that’s spends a lot of time shooting from boats this is your worst nightmare. The product of a massive swell hitting Indonesia right now this boat had broken its moorings and drifted into the Nias lineup. Nobody aboard but still a heavy scene.”
While Cronulla legend Kirk Flintoff commented on his own Insta:
“I saw that boat 4 days ago anchored thinking they better move it before the swell.” Guess they didn’t.
Speaking of Kirk Flintoff, here he is getting a boatless one of his own:
And here’s the full edit of the session from Owen Milne/MySurf.tv. Absolute insanity coming from the likes of: Nathan Florence, Matt Bromley, Carl Wright, Jughead, Lucas Silveira, Mark Healy, Billy Kemper, Toby Mossop, Kipp Caddy, Riley Laing and more. It’s a must watch video (make sure you hit the little square on the bottom right of the frame).
Owen Milne wrote to his Instagram that today (July 26) has been even better than the footage we’re seeing above. He wrote, “I won’t lie, it’s probably better today. And Riley Laing just got a 10.”
On Riley Laing’s own Instagram, however, he posted that he got a two wave hold down yesterday at the heavy North Sumatran slab, so he’s earned whatever gold he scored this morning. At the time of writing, Milney’s still on the rocks, behind his tripod, pointing a camera to the dramatic scene playing out before him.
And while Milne’s footage from yesterday is incredible, I’m not sure it does the heaviness of the wave justice like a water angle. Take this shot that Ted Grambeau took of Mark Healy, who put it on his Insta, for example. This. Is. Wild.
Yesterday evening went bionic here. Really surprised I made the drop on this one. I was thinking of jumping from the top as it scooped out below sea level under me. Glad I stuck with it. Got one of the best backside barrel visions of my life before eventually getting detonated by the foam ball. It was a long hold down and it pushed me so deep that it kinda messed up my ears. Maybe no diving for a week lol. Thanks to my awesome lady @kimbermalie 😘 for dragging a dirty 8ft boardbag across the world to meet me in Indo with the reinforcement quiver. The 7’6” was key. Also thanks to @fisher_heverly for stopping by my house to find my boards and pack them for me before he had to go to work in the AM back in HI. I owe ya one buddy! Another epic image by @tedgrambeau 🙌🏼
Back on Bali and over at Uluwatu, there was more extraordinary action playing out.
Photographer Fran Miller posted a terrifying image of a surfer diving for their lives underneath a set. The story she wrote to go with it gives cause to why so few surfers were out paddling. Hold your breath while you read along.
“Uluwatu yesterday. He paddled hard but missed a set wave at Temples. When he turned around from that attempt, a 30ft wave rose from the sea and with fear of death from now being on the inside, he threw his board and dove as deep as he could. What seemed an eternity later, his head popped up, but his board was nowhere to be seen. After diving under another ten set waves, he valiantly swam out to sea and took rest in deep water, declining the assistance of two surfers who paddled towards him before washing around with the current past the headland out of my sight. This photo is around wave five of the set, and you can see his legs in the bottom left corner to give perspective of the waves.”
She added on the Surfing World Instagram’s repost of the shot, “He was an accomplished and capable waterman. He swam into deep water, relaxed floating on his back to get his energy back (his head came back up to speak to surfers who were checking on him) and then floated along out of my sight.” She later added on her own Instagram after being asked about the health of this surfer and another surfer, who was feared missing: “both alive. More to come,” with a thumbs up emoji.
Now inhale again as we prepare to see a wave being called the longest to ever be surfed at Uluwatu.
The surfer has been identified as Brazillian Eloy Lorenzo Junior.
Here’s another angle of the same wave:
And get this, his tow partner was unknown Russian big wave pioneer, Andrei Ovchinnikov, who goes by the name Andrei Dolphin. The two of them were reportedly the only tow team out there, and holy balls did they make the most of it. Have a geeze at Andrei’s wave from the session:
Here’s what Andrei had to say about the ride:
“Прошлый свэлл был большой, но этот ожидается ещё больше))) Завтра будут бомбы))) А я буду в новом гидрокостюмы от @ankercompany , спасибо ребятам.))) поэтому кто хочет снимать или просто посмотреть , мы начинаем представление в 6:30 на secret Uluwatu))) А дальше Улувату bombi и Impossible))) Ну , а пока пойду набираться сил))))Aloha друзья”
Couldn’t have said better ourselves, Andrei!
This is what Andrei looks like (on the left).
Can you believe it, it’s like putting crazy Russian big wave surfer into Google Images and getting exactly what you’d expect. Cult hero alert!
And meanwhile, at another swell entirely, on another part of the planet, this is happening at Mexico’s Puerto Escondidio:
Anyone know what WA’s The Right is doing? It’s all too much. We’re going to go take a nap.