Stab Magazine | Pete Mel Just Relaunched His Big Wave Career



Pete Mel Just Relaunched His Big Wave Career

A classic bait-and-switch!

news // Jul 30, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

If humans love two things, it’s having authority and getting really, really barreled. Luckily for Kieren Perrow, Head Commissioner of the WSL, both are part of his job description. 

Traveling to work destinations like Fiji, Tahiti, and Hawaii on an annual basis, it’s Kieren’s job to decide when and where the Top-34 will compete. This, in Kieren’s tube-addled brain, equates to hands-on Quality Control at the world’s best waves. He takes this job very seriously, often waking before the sun to fulfill his R&D duties.

But the BWT Commissioner doesn’t share those same perks. He can’t just “paddle out for a couple” before the start of the event to “assess conditions”. He has to manage safety teams, communicate with local officials, and make a decision that could ultimately lead to a friend’s serious injury or death. On top of this, he’s forced to sit idly while younger, more energetic men slide atop his one true love — the big wave. 

It’s for all of these reasons, plus his obligation to uphold the family surf shop, that Peter Mel stepped down from his role as BWT Commissioner this March.


Why does Pete look like he wants to speak with someone’s manager? Because he was pent up with angst!

In an interview with Surfline, when asked whether resigning would allow him to rejoin the ranks as BWT competitor, Mel said:

“I could, I don’t know if I will. I’m not saying I wouldn’t ever. I have a new passion for riding big waves. I have a new quiver, and all of a sudden I’m driven to catch the biggest wave. A lot of that is my son John’s interest. He was asking me about wanting to surf out there [Maverick’s]. I went out there with him every fourth day, and then I picked up some more big waves. There are some days where that feeling of wanting to catch big waves is there; and some days, it isn’t.”


Then, just recently, the WSL dropped its invitee list to the Puerto Escondido Challenge. It includes the world’s best big wavers, a handful of Mexican chargers, and… who do you think? Which forty(?)-something WSL Commentator/surf shop manager will be donning a black singlet in Round 1, Heat 2? 

It’s Peter frickin Mel with a classic bait and switch!

After four years as the BWT’s resident cuckold, it’s hard to blame Mel, a true legend of big wave riding, for wanting to get back on the horse. But I do wonder, will Pete be surfing the entire BWT season, or is this just a one-off event? And, if he is surfing the entire season, was that part of his resignation agreement, or does the Maverick’s champion still hold enough clout to be considered one of the top twenty big wave surfers in the world?

Oh we could speculate ’til the end of time but look at the big fella go, just this morn!

Another (somewhat) surprising entrant to the Puerto event is Australia’s Jamie Mitchell. Jamie’s inclusion is only surprising in the sense that, just three weeks ago, the Australian suffered a broken sternum while freesurfing at Playa Zicatela. I don’t know much about the sternum’s rate of recuperation, but something tells me Jamie will be suffering from both physical and psychological pain throughout this event.

The comp is set to begin at 7 o’clock Monday morning, Corona Standard Time (CST).



Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Come meet the kids who are sending Stab High into the future!

Snowboarders, corelords and curators of the culture. Come meet the kids who are sending Stab…

Jun 23, 2024

Live Now: Finals Day At Stab High Japan Presented By Monster Energy

The freshwater feud for Pro, Ladybird, and Bottle Rocket champion starts now.

Jun 22, 2024

Albee Layer Reluctantly Escapes Sudden-Death Round On Final Wave Of The Day, Advances to Day 2 of Stab High Japan 

“I just want to do my fucking wave, and then go home”

Jun 22, 2024

“Relax, It’s A Surf Contest In A Swimming Pool”

Our attempt at an unbiased comp wrap from afar, on Day One of Stab High…

Jun 22, 2024

Rasta Robb Gutter Stomps Backside Full-Rote, Scores a 3/50

Why wasn’t the reigning champ rewarded in heat 1 of Stab High Japan?

Jun 22, 2024

Full Replay: Day 1 of Stab High Japan Presented By Monster Energy

Click to watch (or rewatch) today's Qualifier and Sudden Death rounds.

Jun 21, 2024

Everything You Need to Know About The Most ‘Perfectly Imperfect’ Wave in the Mentawais

Tips from longtime HTs devotee, Liam Turner.

Jun 21, 2024

“You’re An Elite Freesurfer, I’m Just A Vlogger, Surely You Can Take Me Out”

King of Waco calls out Aussie freesurfers on Stab High live stream.

Jun 21, 2024

Please Don’t Do A Superman At Stab High Japan, Presented By Monster Energy 

Breaking down the best and worst airs, according to the stats. 

Jun 20, 2024

355 Days Later, We Still Don’t Know What Elo Did In Brazil

But here's your 2024 Rio Pro preview.

Jun 20, 2024

JJF + Medina To Continue Rampages In Brazil?

12x CT event winner and previous SITD pilot Taj Burrow says 'yes'.

Jun 19, 2024

Allow Us To Introduce The YETI Ladybirds And Bottle Rockets Of Stab High Japan Presented By Monster Energy

Here's our schoolyard pick for teams; who will win the most cred at the lunch…

Jun 17, 2024

Prediction: Moving The WSL Finals To Fiji Will Kill Off Two More Surfing Superstars

Is this JJF's time to collect his titles? We checked the stats.

Jun 17, 2024

Confirmed: Fiji To Host 2025 WSL Finals

Cloudbreak will remain on tour until 2026.

Jun 17, 2024

What’s The Secret To Powersurfing?

Taylor Knox, Kyuss King, and Jessi Miley-Dyer tackle a trio of questions in our third…

Jun 16, 2024

How To Win Stab High Japan, Presented By Monster Energy

A statistical analysis of the 493 airs attempted in previous chlorinated editions.

Jun 16, 2024

Watch: An Intimate Portrait Of The Wave, Village, And People At The End Of The Road

Oxbow’s ‘Children of Teahupo’o’ is playing exclusively on Stab Premium for the next two weeks. 

Jun 15, 2024

Fuck It, Run The Entire CT In Indo

A historic beginning to the Indonesian dry season.

Jun 14, 2024
JUNE 22 & 23
-2 Days
19 Hours
7 Minutes
37 Seconds
Join Stab Premium