Miguel Tudela has tiger blood. Video: Jose Plaza
This Would Have Been The Wave Of The Decade, Easily
But Pipeline doesn't give it up that easy.
Pipeline is the world's greatest reform.
On smaller days, swells roll over the outer reefs without breaking (therefore losing none of their energy) and focus on the inner shelf. This is why a four-foot wave at Pipe (or especially the uber-shallow Backdoor) can be heavier than a 10-footer that capped out the back and rolled into First Reef.
The truly special waves at Pipe, however, happen when a large wave somehow avoids the outer shelves and doubles-up on the inside, leading to a tall, bulbous, and often entryless tube.
That's precisely the type of wave Peru's Miguel Tudela found himself in position for this winter. And to his credit, Miguel did not cower at the sight of this girthy 12-footer, but rather put his chin to the fiberglass and attempted the near impossible.
Of course, roughly .25 seconds after getting to his feet, Miguel realized that he was completely and utterly fucked, leading to the inevitable pin-drop exit. The wave that transpired was the best we've seen at Pipe in 10 years, if not ever.
You might be wondering if Miguel got sucked over the falls or somehow slipped out the back.
"I definitely didn't get out that back," Miguel laughs. "It pulled me over and broke my board in three pieces. It could have been way worse though—I only hit my foot on the bottom. I thought I was gonna break something for sure. I was just holding my head and hoping for the best."
Better luck next winter.