Stab Magazine | The waves heard around the world with Tommy Dosland
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The waves heard around the world with Tommy Dosland

Words by Morgan Williamson  On Wednesday the 27th, yet another massive El Niño swell shot raw power to the Hawaiian Islands. Waimea was as big as it gets, and Pe’ahi was borderline unpaddle-able. But the new rule for waves that look impossible to scrape into is they’re in fact paddle-able. Many-a-hellmen grabbed their their guns and […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Words by Morgan Williamson 

On Wednesday the 27th, yet another massive El Niño swell shot raw power to the Hawaiian Islands. Waimea was as big as it gets, and Pe’ahi was borderline unpaddle-able. But the new rule for waves that look impossible to scrape into is they’re in fact paddle-able. Many-a-hellmen grabbed their their guns and hunted leviathans at the two breaks. Throughout the day a few very notable incidents took place. In the water, Luke Shepardson paddled into the two biggest waves of the day at the bay. Waves that according to Ross William and Kelly Slater were, “as big as you can surf Waimea.” Ross even made the claim that they had 50 foot faces, and they may have. They were fucking huge. Then Tommy Dosland dropped a few stories from the top of a Jaws lip. On the land Mr Slater saved Chris Whitey’s family from a rogue wave. Kelly’s incident’s beside this story, however.

“I had the plans to catch one big bomb and get the hell out of there,” Mr Dosland says me about an hour after his Volcom Pipe Pro heat. He complains briefly of his tight neck, but only upon the asking of his physical well being. Other than that, the cat’s doing just fine. “It was one of those really scary sessions, so much water moving and the swell was hitting so hard. Right when I paddled out one came right too me. I hit the brakes and pulled back. I was mad at myself for that. I thought fuck, the next on that comes through, I’m going.”

servais16_16811

Take the long way down. Photo: Tom Servais

“Sure enough, a black sea monster came right at me. I turned around, put my head down and had a dig at it,” Tommy continues. “There was a lot of wind coming up the face. It was hard to see with all the water in my eyes, but I thought I was in the right spot. I just paddled as hard as I could and stood up. Out of one blurry eye I realised I was right on top of it, in a bad spot. I jumped. It felt like I jumped from a five story building. I just thought Holy Shit! I was hoping I could penetrate it and make it out the back, then my leash pulled me sideways and I did this weird side dive. Right when I hit the water I went straight back over the falls, I got smoked. I almost forgot I had my pull vest on, when it all settled and I was coming up I pulled it,” he laughs. “Mostly because I realised I forgot about it.”

“As soon as I came up DK Walsh was on it. I grabbed his hand and he whipped me into the channel,” says Tommy. “Big shout out to those guys on the skis, they’re the shit. I was just happy to be alive. My board was in pieces. When I saw Dege O’Connell in the channel we kind of just celebrated. It was a wrap, after that I was out of there.”

“I wouldn’t consider myself a big wave surfer,” Tommy tells me. “But I’m from Maui, so when Jaws is on, I’m out there. Every time I get on those rocks, I’m like what the fuck am I doing here again? But when you go out and get a few good ones the feeling’s unbelievable. I was out the last swell, when Aaron Gold caught that wave. I didn’t get one the whole time, I was pissed and felt like I pussed out. I swear it felt better to jump over the falls than to go out and get nothing again.”

“There were some pretty fun waves out there,” Luke tells me on his session at the bay. “I checked it in the morning, then checked all around and just ended up going out there. I knew the peak was going to be at two or three, so I paddled out at Waimea around one. That first wave I caught was in the first 15 minutes of being out, it pretty much closed out. The second wave was a good one. The beatings weren’t too bad at all. I made the drops and they were really slopey. I was able to jump through the backs, got pulled a little ways but didn’t get too pounded.”

When Mr Shepardson rolled up to Waimea he saw Kelly, Mason Ho and Ross on the beach, “they told me they’d buy me a plate lunch if I could make it out,” Luke says. “The paddle out was super critical, I got lucky, timed it right and made it.” Looks like they owe him lunch.

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