A Six-Minute Look At Shipstern’s Dangers And Delights
16-year-old Ned Hart begins his painful internship.
Tasmanian Harry Holmer Cross is currently hospitalized with serious head trauma, ear canal damage, and likely a loss of motor skill functions after suffering a wipeout at Shipstern Bluff last week.
With the advent of inflatable vests, rip-off leashes, and tactically trained jet-ski crews, it seems that big-wave surfing’s greatest threat now comes from impacts with shallow reef and not hold-downs. Slabs might be surfing’s true Everest.
Despite these dangers, 16-year-old Ned Hart decided to narrow his pubescent sights on Shipstern Bluff.
Thanks to some supportive parentage, he has put his time in heavy water in Tahiti, Indo, and Hawaii. When it came time to grab the rope, Ned was ready. It appears he was careful and intentional.
Though, there have understandably been local complaints about outsiders crowding the lineup in hopes of a “hero shot”. But it would be difficult to deny the magnitude of what Ned is doing. It doesn’t matter how many Instagram likes are promised in the near future, you’d be hard-pressed to find many 16-year-olds who want anything to do with towable Shippies.
The way Ned attacks the “step” is impressive. He ollies it with a confidence that would be rare for anyone, much less someone who could be preparing for his Junior Prom.
Slabs are beasts of randomness. Whether giving a newcomer like Ned a share of glory or sending a seasoned, highly skilled veteran like Harry Holmer Cross to the hospital, it appears the true danger of slab hunting comes not merely from wave size or distance from the reef, but from an inherent lack of order and predictability.
Harry Holmer Cross’s GoFundMe campaign can be found here.
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