Stab Magazine | "Thought He Died" - Koa Rothman

“Thought He Died” – Koa Rothman

The internet reacts to the three most significant happenings at Cloudbreak.

news // May 30, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Unless you’ve sworn off your cellular, smashed your laptop and refused to look at a screen of any sort for the past 72 hours, you’ve awed at Sunday at Cloudbreak.

The morning started off with wind.

Rain blew sideways into the orgy of lenses, piled atop each other like slugs in the channel. For the better half of the day, it was big, but not exciting.

A messy tow wave without a barrel doesn’t thrill.

When the sun started to set. The wind died, what was once a large, frothing mash, turned into some of the most magnificent tunnels the world’s ever seen.

As social media owns any significant day in real time, these are a few monumental thumb taps regarding the biggest swell to hit Fiji since 2012. 

Ramon Navarro and the wave that started the debate of whether or not tow is DEAD.

Which is silly.

In 2018, we want to watch the world’s best scratch into the largest, bluest, holey-est tubes over shallow reef. The fact is, there are certain waves that are unobtainable without a ski. Plus, we’re firm believers that if you’re getting tubed, whether you’re on a boogie, a kayak, or au naturale, it’s a respectable endeavor. Ramon’s wave last weekend may be the largest, most heart-thumping slide since Nathan Fletcher at Chopes in 2011.

Shane Dorian: Such a sick nugget!!
Keala Kennelly: So proud of you brother!
Taylor Knox: You are the man!
Ian Walsh: So proud of you!
Ken Skindog Collins: Saw this 1000 times on Insta Gram. You broke the web ha ha
Rusty Long: Felicidades Ramon !!!! Incredible!!!!
Todd Kline: Gold bless
Mark Mckinnis: You are an amazing human, Ramon. Both in and out of the water.

Kelly Slater paddles the biggest swell at Cloudbreak at 46 years old.

The day before the swell peaked, Kelly Slater was on a plane, headed to Nadi International airport.

He put on a vest, grabbed a gun and paddled into one of the best waves of the day. The internet went up in arms – either congratulating or criticizing his bailing on the CT event at Keramas.


To which, due to Kelly’s insatiable appetite for digital debate, he jumped into the thread to set the record straight.

Jack Freestone: Yeah, I wonder why his foot isn’t healing…
Imogen Caldwell: Fuck.
Harry Bryant: Kelly’s had a broken foot for 25 years.
@supermegasurfkid: What the heck dude you were on my fantasy team.
@joel_cooper85: I don’t blame him for chasing a swell… but to do it in such a blatant, borderline disrespectful manner @kellyslater completely undermines the @wsl comp and those who support it.
Kelly Slater (in response): I pulled out of the Bali event mid April. They kept my name in the draw in case I was feeling up to it. Just funny timing with this swell.
@joel_cooper85: It was the timing that made it seem convenient and like there was a lack of commitment from you – didn’t realise that was the WSL’s doing, apologies.

Makua Rothman’s “near-death” wipeout.
It wouldn’t be a historical, monumental, best-ever, Ohemeffgawd swell without the fair share of near-death experiences. It could be said that each spill on a wave of such magnitude is a near-death experience… or at least, one that for a few seconds will make anyone consider their end. 

Taylor Knox: Wow that’s a big dog!
Dave Nelson: What?!! This looks like a scary cartoon. Hell ya Makua! You’re a mad dog!
Jamie O’Brien: Holy shit you da man
Shane Dorian: That is such a mental one… glad you’re okay.
Strider Wasilewski: OMG are you serious
Mason Ho: Just seen the clip! Heavvvvvvy!! Uncle Eddie sledge hammmmmmerrr sperm
Francisco Porcella: HOLY SHIT MENTAL
Johnny Boy Gomes: Whaaaat Braddah this is on a whole different level. #yourtheman
Tai van Dyke: ASS SUPA NUTS!!!
Kala Alexander: Crazy you’re so small I didn’t know you were in the shot. That wave is huge what happened.
Koa Rothman: @kala_dacaptian thought he died


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