Five Of The Greatest Waves You'll Never Surf
After getting a copy of the just-released book 100 Greatest Waves, we decided to take a deeper look at some of the featured surf spots. What we found is this: We were trying to kill you! True there are the typical high profile and user-friendly spots mentioned (Malibu, Costa Rica, New Jersey, Lowers, etc.) but along with these beginner friendly locales are far more menacing locations with names that sound medieval in nature and photos that will make you think twice about paddling out...
Spot X, Tasmania
Located far offshore in the rugged Australian state of Tasmania, this unnamed wave is really just a jagged rock that rears its ugly head out of the ocean. Due to its location, you need a jet ski just to get to the wave. After that you'll need a skilled driver to properly place you onto the wave. One wrong step out here and you're eating a face full of rocks. Oh, did we mention that it's a two-hour trip to the nearest hospital?
Dungeons, Hout Bay, South Africa
If the name alone doesn't frighten you, then maybe this will: There's a seal colony in between the break and the beach that lives on locals call "Death Rock." It got its name from carnage that ensues when seals are devoured by massive great white sharks that inhabit the area. "The ocean down there is alive," says big wave surfer Greg Long. "When you're in the lineup you can smell the seal crap and hear them barking. It's deep water all around and a couple miles away they do shark cage diving. There's definitely an eerie vibe to the wave," he adds. Sounds f--ked up huh? Factor in the cold water and the fact that it doesn't even begin to break until the waves hit fifteen feet and you've got yourself a real good reason to give Dungeons a pass.
Saint Leu, Reunion Island
Located in the southwest corner of Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean, Saint Leu is an absolutely perfect wave. There's just one problem--sharks. Since 2011, five people have been killed by what's assumed to be bull and tiger sharks. "It's pretty heavy. I've lost so many friends and brothers," says pro surfer Jeremy Flores. The reason for the rise in shark attacks is debated, but one thing is for certain, surfing in these now-empty waters is a perilous undertaking.
The biggest, most badass wave on the planet, Jaws is intimidating to even the most seasoned big wave riders. First pioneered by the legendary Laird Hamilton, Jaws on its easiest day is a 30-foot wall of water with strong trade winds gusting up the face. Once the waves get bigger than that, out come the jets skis that are used to tow surfers into surf that can reach 80-feet. Eat shit in conditions like that and you're helpless--jet skis can't navigate the boiling cauldron of water due to all the foam. With hazards like that, it's easy to see why only the most elite big wave surfers even attempt to take on the massive surf at Jaws.
Ours, Sydney, Australia
Breaking viciously mere yards from razor sharp rocks, Ours is a relative newcomer to the "Do Not Surf Here" list. First pioneered by bodyboarders because it was deemed too dangerous for surfing, Ours has now become the proving grounds for a group of surfers called the 'Bra Boys.' Preferring fisticuffs over talking it out, the Bra Boys are a group not to be messed with. And if the locals (like MMA fighter Richie Vaculik pictured here) don't steer you away from surfing here, the sheer danger factor of the wave most certainly will as it's common for even the most talented to get washed up and over the jagged rock cliff fronting the wave.
100 Greatest Waves Book Now Available!
TransWorld SURF has teamed up with Weldon Owen Publishing to create this 240-page coffee table book called 100 Greatest Waves. Packed with oversized photos from the most renowned surf photographers in the world, it's a celebration of surf travel and gives expert insight into where to score and when.
Available at Weldon Owen and other fine retailers. See below for a snippet of the book…