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120 Seconds That Changed Koa Smith's Life

"My whole life surfing I try to envisage that one dream wave that I want to experience," Koa Smith posted on social media about the wave below. "I picture it clearly. What it will look like. How it will feel. The emotions pouring out of me when the wave is complete. Then this happens..."

The wave is, of course, Skeleton Bay in Namibia. The sand bottomed break has a ten-year history of providing some of the longest and most perfect waves on the planet. Smith himself has logged some incredible rides there over the last few years. The 23-year-old professional surfer, model and coffee shop owner has made the two-day trip from his Hawaiian home to the West African desert many times in search of that one dream wave. Such is his familiarity with the wave last year he even negotiated a long tube whilst operating a fidget spinner.

However with this wave in which he threaded eight different barrels and rode for two minutes to cover more than a mile, Smith broke new ground. It might be the best wave ever ridden at the mythical wave. On Instagram he had no trouble in putting the achievement in perspective. "I'd like to think that everything I've done my whole life led up to that moment."

It was also through considerable skill and good management that Smith was able to document what he also called a "life changer". Whilst he provided the POV angle using a GoPro attached to a mouthpiece, South African travel and action sports filmmaker Chris Rogers captured the entire wave with his drone.

Now Koa isn't one to rest for too long. Since this wave was caught in May he's ridden giant waves at Cloudbreak in Fiji, suffered concussion after being slammed into the reef head first at Nias, Indonesia and traveled to Huntington for the Vans US Open of Surfing. Yet for all his travels and travails it is this 120 seconds that will stay with him forever.

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