A cold few days in June
27th June 2010
This week I was given the opportunity to give one of the worlds heaviest waves a proper dig. What I experienced over the past 2 days is pretty indescribable but I'll do my best to put Luna Park into words.
From my very first look at the wave I knew I was out of my comfort zone, and also not prepared for what was lying at the bottom of those icy, windswept cliffs at the bottom of Australia. All the pictures and clips I'd seen of the place all suddenly seemed very misleading as I quickly asked 'is this low tide?' to which the reply came 'Nah its actually high in 20 minutes!'
The wave comes out of deep, deep water before squeezing itself through a gap in outer reefs and then just unloading its guts onto a knee deep shelf. I have never felt so deceived by media in my life. You could honestly kneel on the reef and your head would still be above water, but let's not forget the series of exposed 'islands' roughly 20 metres inside of all the action, haha, didn't see that one coming either.
The channel is nonexistent and the portion of water which people like to refer to as the channel resembles the Zambezi River during a flood with a regularly occurring large (between 8 and 15ft) washthrough to spice things up a little.
Tuesday the 22nd was too big. There is no beating around the bush. Arriving to a car park full of tired and cold bodyboarders we were advised to not waste our time and keep alive till the next day which would pump. I was happy to oblige until Brendan Newton arrived on the scene, suited up and ran down, BY HIMSELF. Ray Collins (Photographer to the stars), Jacob Romero, Glen Sullivan and myself headed down the 326 stairs to the sight of Brendo freefalling into a 10ft plus pit. I was so scared guys, scared, cold and scared. I knew though that if I stayed on the beach I would always regret it and I (along with boys) paddled out. Nothing really happened except Brendan went straight on a 12 footer and (in his own words) had a picnic on the rocks and then jumped back in. I caught 2 waves which were both terrible and the rest of the time was spent subbing on 15 foot closeouts.
That night I was like if that's Luna's I want nothing to do with it! The ozzies can have this place. Pretty glad I stuck around because Wednesday the 23rd was a special day in my career so far.
Looked at Luna's, pumping 6-10ft, run down the cliff, out there. I picked off my first one amongst the paddle in crew of Chris James, Jose Marquina, Chris Wilson, Damien Martin, Glen Sullivan and others and it really got me amped, I paddled early onto the wedge but because the wave stands up so quick I ended up being real deep and late, I scooped high and got right through it and into the channel where Kingy and Jonesy (Damian King and Jones Russel) had just rocked up on their ski. Stoked.
My success rate was pretty high with the 6 waves I caught I made 3 of them, but my second last wave definitely made my whole trip. One of the tow crews had looked at it but then decided otherwise and most of the pack was already out of position, it looked sort of weird, like it might double up super hard. I paddled in hard but still got hung up pretty hard, I pushed my entire body into the wave and pushed my board down low, hit the bottom, sat up and it was go time. The thing just funnelled inside out before allowing me the biggest blow out exit of my life. I was so pumped, Ray had already gone in but Local Photog and Legend Matt Ryan gave me an epic man hug in the channel.
After a chilly chill (Lame but spot on) I went back out to try and get another one but it was not to be, airdrop after airdrop I left the water tired and sore but super content on the days surfing. My respect has gone up so much for the core group of Australian riders this trip. If you ever find yourself thinking how can these guys get paid to just chase swells, think again, they are putting big things on the line to bring you the images you so eagerly await every month.
I will definitely keep my eye on the charts and be right back down there should the park light up again soon.
Since being back in Sydney I have been relishing the 'warmer' conditions and even had a fun day out Shark Island on Friday.Its a tricky wave to surf so I was over the moon to get some solid practice out there, even if it wasnt massive!
This Sunday was the 5th Emerald club contest of the year, Jacob Romero and I both went in it and so did Andrew Lester!It was an epic day hanging with the New Gen of Cronulla shredders ranging from 12-21 in age. Jacob and I managed to edge out Lester in the Semi's but the happy Hawaiian still got me in the final.
The framies are courtesy of Andrew Hoff, a 16 year old hellman who filmed from the so called channel at Luna's , Thanks mate! The Shark Island and Bali Grabs are from Richard Lornies up and coming production titled 'everybody chout' which is set to be released August!Let me know what you think!
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30th June 2010 10:52
28th June 2010 11:02
|Nice boss... Good 2 see the coverage! Loving it... AYOBA!!|
28th June 2010 09:25
|Mad write-up Jerry! Jose came around the day after getting back from this trip and the stories were insane. sick to see you yesterday, next time I'll make sure the kids are sorted so we can catch a few brewskies. Bring on the swell for the Island comp!!|
27th June 2010 23:05
|Nice one Jerry...so stoked for you cuz!!!|