Big Island’s Shane Dorian on Surfing Jaws
“It’s by far my favorite big wave in the world. I think it’s probably my favorite wave in the world. Just incredibly scary, exhilarating and super challenging. At the same time, the quality of the wave is like nothing else… I don’t know any other wave that’s like that.”
– Shane Dorian, November 13, 2014
Earlier this week a large swell was generated by former Super Typhoon Nuri. After becoming extratropical and merging with a frontal system the first week of November 2014, the storm became the strongest non-tropical storm ever recorded in the NPAC. The record-breaking system generated a Veteran’s Day swell for one of Hawaii’s premiere big wave breaks. The first Peʻahi “Jaws” swell of the 2014 – 2015 winter season drew out the world’s best big wave surfers, including Kona’s Shane Dorian.
According to one of our surf photography contributors, Jimmie Hepp, the wait between sets was at least 20 minutes and some of the sets that came through weren’t rideable. Asa Ellison was also snapping shots from shore and estimates there were about 10-15 big wave surfers in the line up. Gavin Shigesato told us Grant Twiggy Baker and Will Hunt caught standout waves while Trevor Carlson, Kai Lenny and Shane Dorian caught some huge bombs. Two women, Keala Kennelly and Paige Alms, were also out in the line up on Tuesday. A boat was moored at a safe location on the side and five jet skis were providing tow-in and safety services. A High Surf Warning was in effect as the swell peaked the morning of Wednesday November 12, 2014. On day 2 of the swell, Shane Dorian caught a wave that puts him in contention for the 2015 XXL Ride Of The Year Award.
Below: Meteorologist Malika Dudley interviews Shane Dorian about big wave surfing which he says is “far from mundane.” Mahalo to Jimmie Hepp, Sophie Louca of Fish Bowl Diaries, Gavin Shigesato of Shige Photo and Davin Phelps for providing photos for this piece.
Below: Drone footage shot at Peʻahi “Jaws” on November 11, 2014 / Courtesy: Justin Edwards / www.droneabove.com