This week saw a potentially once-in-a-decade swell hit Hawaii, with memorable sessions at Jaws and the outer reefs on the North Shore of Oahu.
Jaws was pushing north of 50 feet. It was nothing short of awe-inspiring but a long way from perfect; there was a brief paddle session before the wind became so strong it was throwing windsurfing boards around like matchsticks and opening the door for a memorable tow-session which included what could be the largest barrel ever ridden by a woman, anywhere.
Justine Dupont -- who grew u longboarding -- stole the show by threading on a chattering, wind-harried board through an absolute cavern. Meanwhile, it comes as no surprise that Kai Lenny was among the standouts, which also included the likes of Makuakai Rothman, Nathan Florence -- the current Vans Triple Crown men's leader -- and the skimboarder Brad Domke who rode what has to be the largest wave ever surfed on a finless disk.
There were plenty of other chargers out there, including 12-year-old Steve Roberson. Of particular note is the fact many of these surfers backed up after scoring Mavericks in Central California the week earlier.
Meanwhile, over on Oahu, there was one of the best outer-reef sessions in recent memory as well as a huge day at closing-out Waimea. In fact, the consensus seems to be that if it wasn't for covid, the famed Eddie event could have run.
Where jaws was insane and windy, the outer reef were huge and picture-perfect; two-time World Champion John John Florence paddled into a gigantic barrel without a drop of water out of place. In fact, so perfect was the wave it resembled a maxed-up version of Cloudbreak, in Fiji. Aussie surfer Mikey Wright also scored some waves, as did Koa Rothman, Mark Healey, Kelly Slater and many others.
But the session wasn't without incident. It was a once-in-a-decade swell, and there were plenty of photographers on hand to capture it on he the back of a swarm of jetskis, which mixed in with the safety skis to create a bit of chaos when a set darkened the horizon and sent them all scrambling. Footage of a white ski launching into the air has gone through the surf world, and sadly photographer Ryan Moss ended up in the hospital with a serious back injury.
Hawaii wasn't the only location benefiting from the Pacific juice. The West Coast of the United States also scored some swell, with a good day at Rincon featuring the masterful, legendary Tom Curren enjoying the wave on which he honed his inimitable style. Surfers flocked to the jewel of the California coast like moths to a flame.