Pointbreaks are supposed to be fun. Think of waves like Snapper Rocks, Barra de la Cruz, and Rincon and visions of long, cruisey waves come to mind. But Skeleton Bay in Namibia is a whole 'nother beast. Located in the Namib Desert, Skeleton Bay is ice cold, isolated, and breaks with unrivaled ferocity. Oh, and there's a seal rookery nearby, and we all know what that means: big fish swimming around looking for dinner.
Skeleton Bay is definitely not your average pointbreak.
After the first big swell of the season hit there at the end of May, we caught up with South African charger Matt Bromley for his take on the sand-sucking beast of a wave…
"The Dungeons big-wave contest was on standby for Thursday, but the wind came up and it was called off. However, the same pulse was heading up to Skeleton Bay and it was the biggest swell I’ve ever seen for that area! Monster booked us flights last minute and a day later we were in the middle of the desert waiting for the beast to awaken," says Bromley.
"It was hard to believe the hype, and the morning of the swell, 60 eager surfers stood on the beach squinting into the mist trying to see what was out there. I paddled out early and could only see the wave when it was, like, 30 meters away. It was 8-foot, really low tide, and going below sea level for a kilometer," he adds.
“My first wave of the day was a big one and I went over the falls and onto dry sand. I thought I was going to die. The day pushed on and the waves got bigger and bigger. By midday we were dodging 10-footers that looked like a mini version of the infamous 'Code Red' Teahupo'o swell. There was no way to get into the big ones; it was bending back and onto itself on virtually dry sand and grinding down the point for like two minutes! But in between those were opportunities to get the wave of your life. As you take off, you had to get pumping, but most of the time it overtook you and you'd get seriously beaten into the sand. [South African surfer] Davey Brand dislocated his shoulder, and another dude broke his nose," says Bromley of the carnage-filled session.
"The rip running down the point was ridiculous; after every ride you'd have to walk back up the point, like, 800 meters. Everything about this spot is raw and heavy. It's for surfers who are willing to get manhandled in the hope of getting a wave of a lifetime."
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