Silverbacks is not a user-friendly wave. Situated on the Caribbean side of Panama, it requires a very specific set of conditions (including super-short period storm swells) to get working, and when it does, this heavy, deep-water peak with a shifty take-off zone that jacks up on a shallow ledge can deliver some serious consequences for those unlucky enough to come unstuck.
So, while it may be incredibly illusive, when it does break, Silverbacks is rightly considered one of the heavier waves in the world. This is why it's not surprising that some of the hardest-charging surfers -- including the likes of Nathan Florence -- have had the Panamanian wave on their radar in recent years.
Koa Smith, his brother, Travis, and Luke Davis recently scored all-time Silverbacks on a very big, very intense, and very short-period swell. As you can see, the risk paid off, with conditions coming together for an epic session.
"It's really weird to be in a session and realize, wow, if I just sent it on one of these sets I could get the wave of my life," Koa says in the clip below. If you consider how many good waves this guy has enjoyed, it tells you just about all you need to know about the potential on offer at this shifty, fickle and punishing locale.