Snapped Legs, Totalled Jet Skis, And $100,000 Pearls - Stab Mag
Photo by Andrew Semark

Snapped Legs, Totalled Jet Skis, And $100,000 Pearls

Zac Haynes’ precarious dance with the protruding seafloor.

cinema // Apr 20, 2023
Words by Holden Trnka
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Zac Haynes is one of the mad few who spend their time picking backless lumps off the Southwest Australian horizon. 

He’s softly spoken, hangs with boogs, and uses blue collar labor to service his (our) addiction.

Though he currently works for the same tugboat company as Jay Davies — albeit in a different port — he spent the weeks surrounding the creation of this edit farming pearls in the Northwest.

Hence, ‘Pearl Moon.’

“When we were putting the clip together, I was just staring at pearls every day,” Zac remembers. “Pretty monotonous work, but pearls are actually amazing. Some of them are worth over $100k. When you look into one of those, you can get lost in it. Pretty much 95% of the oysters will have a pearl, it just depends whether it’s a good one or not. When you see a nice one, you know right away.”

The 27-year old grew up around Dunsborough and spends his time chasing waves with Jake Osman, Jesse Carter, and some of the local boogs — one of whom he went to Ireland with.

“That boog is one of my good mates Tom,” Zac says. “I love doing trips with bodyboarders, they push you to go crazier places than you would normally surf. Once you see them get a couple, it gets you thinking you might be able to make one. Tom and I chase waves at home a lot, he paddles The Right on a bodyboard. You’ve probably seen the clip of him copping a massive one on the head out there. He’s pretty crazy.”

Halfway through the clip, at about 3:15, we watch an unidentified goof faceplant and get sucked over, into an explosion that would make Beirut blush. That was Zac’s friend Jesse Carter, and he ended up right where you’d rather not be.

“He got smoked and washed up onto the rocks, and Jake Osman tried to go in to get him but got swamped by a 10ft white water,” Zac recalls. “While Jesse was on the rocks his leg got caught in a crack, and he got cleaned up by another white wash which snapped his ankle. It was a pretty intense afternoon.

We had to stretcher Jesse a few km through bush and rocks to where an ambo could take him. By that time it was dark so we left the ski. When we got back down the ski was high and dry with holes all through it. We tried to get it back in the water to tow it, but it was impossible with the shorey on the rocks,” he laughs. “So now the ski is a monument, a reminder to be aware of the rocks.”

Click above for a humbling look at Zac’s approach through Ireland, Tahiti, and home.



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