When most kids are worrying about pimples and homework, these five teenagers are tackling the biggest waves on the planet. Meet the future of big-wave surfing.
"I surfed some big-wave spots I’d never thought I’d surf in 2013. In this video there is Waimea, Backdoor, Pipeline, West Java, Bali, Shipsterns Bluff, and more!" says Riley Laing. Not a bad lineup of waves, especially when you consider Laing is a 14-year-old kid from the Central Coast of New South Wales in Australia. His commitment and talent in waves of consequence, be it Shipsterns or huge Apocalypse, is absolutely frightening. “The waves he is riding, at his age, are beyond belief,” says Australian big-wave legend Justin “Jughead” Allport. “It usually takes decades of experience to get where he is at.” If he is doing this type of insanity barely into his teens, what on earth will he be doing over the next three decades?
The 15-year-old Hawaiian has been making a name for himself at the world’s big-wave yardstick of Jaws, paddling every swell that breaks. When Hawaiian big-wave heavyweight Kala Alexander wrote on Instagram, "This kid won’t even be 16 until July and he’s been surfing Peahi for a few years now. The best part about this kid is that he’s humble and respectful. Big things in his future," you know he is the real deal. Olaveira also has been snaveling some big pits at Pipeline this season and looks to be on a fast track to big-wave legend status.
Tyler Larronde scored the cover of Surfer on a giant Jaws wave when still in school back in 2012. These days he is headlining the next generation of Maui hell-men, pushing the likes of Albee Layer, Matt Meola, and Ian Walsh whenever the waves get serious. His father, Michel, born in France but one of Maui's pioneering big-wave surfers in the ’80s and ’90s, has been pivotal in showing him the ropes. Quiet, unassuming, and humble, he lets all his talking be done in the water.
The next big thing to come out of the surfing DNA talent conveyor belt that is the Wright clan. Mikey is starting to emerge from the shadows of older brother Owen and big sister Tyler. Both of them, apart from each having held number-two spots in the ASP ratings in their careers, are known for their talent in waves of consequence. Seventeen-year-old Mikey's performances at Pipeline over the last two seasons have been incredible and he looks set to follow in Owen's footsteps, being a big-wave hell man with a power-based and creative all-round competitive act.
"Russell has the potential to be Australia's best big-wave surfer and there is a market developing very quickly with the sport jumping from strength to strength each year," filmmaker Tim Bonython told GrindTV.com. Bonython was talking just after he had taken the 16-year-old to surf a South Australian big-wave discovery with Kelly Slater and Alex Gray. "Russ is so natural and talented in big-wave conditions [that] I was confident he had the ability to take on these waves. I knew these waves are world class and dangerous and he was up to it." Mentored by his big-wave-charging father, Kirk, who also shapes his boards, Bierke has forged an incredible reputation since age 12 and recently was a standout in solid Ours.
More from GrindTV