Jaws is always impressive, but on Saturday January 16th a solid north-west swell saw things taken to the next level as some of the world's premier big-wave surfers endured windy, challenging conditions for all-time paddle and tow-in sessions and even some skimboarding.
The waves at Peʻahi built slowly and eventually reached the 50- to 60-foot range , as athletes such as Vans Triple Crown men's leader Nathan Florence -- fresh off tackling a swell at Mavericks, in Central California -- made the trip over to Maui and said he'd scored some of the biggest waves he'd ever had the privellege of riding.
Those who wanted to get some paddle waves needed to pick a window, as the wind was strong all day -- once it picked up, it was left to the tow teams and windsurfers to make the most of.
"It was so windy, that it felt ... It felt physically impossible," Olson told the WSL after coming in from his session. "Now let's just hope it gets to like, one hundred foot. It's too windy to paddle [now] so we want it to just be the biggest day ever."
Dupont scored one of the waves of the day, whipping into a solid barrel and achieving a goal she'd set for herself before the swell hit. She's another of the athletes who came to Maui after chasing the Mavericks swell. Dupont was also a standout there last Sunday -- making it two weekends in a row scoring some of the biggest, most intense waves on the planet.
Meanwhile, it should come as no surprise that Lenny -- who has consistently raised the big-wave performance bar in recent years -- was another standout. Lenny has redefined what's considered possible on big waves, and came into this session at Jaws after also chasing the latest Mavericks swell. Whether he's foiling, wing-foiling, towing and paddling (on a variety of craft) Lenny has developed a real affinity with Jaws, making sure he's there whenever it breaks.
He put it simply on his Instagram account, saying it "was a day to remember."
Another standout was Shaun Walsh, Ian's brother. He's an underground local charger who's put the time in out there, and on Saturday was rewarded with one of the best waves.
Also on Saturday, Brad Domke rode the largest wave he's ever caught at Jaws on a skimboard -- so it's safe to assume that's the largest wave anyone has ever skimmed out there.
"I think I just caught the biggest wave I've ever ridden on a skimboard," Domke told the WSL shortly after his ride. "I'm just stoked to have all my friends here in the sport, and just ... experimentation with no fins and no straps and riding a board [that weighs] pretty much I think five pounds and just seeing where we can go from there to create the best big-wave skimboard."
On Sunday morning the swell had fallen, but was still solid. There was a paddle session going down, with surfers making the most of the smaller, cleaner conditions.
Stay tuned, as the swell is now making its way across the Pacific to the West Coast!