Watch: The Wildest Maverick's Drop We've Seen In A Minute - Stab Mag

Watch: The Wildest Maverick’s Drop We’ve Seen In A Minute

Wilem Banks shows us how it feels to be Alive.

cinema // Jan 7, 2022
Words by August Howell
Reading Time: 2 minutes
Film by Kyle Buthman

Time management isn’t just a skill employers like on a resume. How well you structure and complete your tasks is also a formula that can affect your happiness and freedom on a daily basis. (Don’t believe us? Read this.)

Wilem Banks knows a thing or two about this. Between splitting time working construction and ripping Santa Cruz’s myriad of points, reefs, and a certain infamous wave 50 miles from his hometown, Wilem has shown a degree of balance in his life that extends beyond his cat-like ability on a surfboard. 

Wilem has been chipping away at Maverick’s for several years. In 2017, he found himself in a situation that would have left most surfers heading for shore with their leash between their legs. His pencil-dive-gone-wrong got him a nod for the year’s worst wipeout, but Wilem has proven he’s there for more than the view from the lip. 

As shown in the edit above Kyle Buthman, Wilem acted like a professional on the job and was efficient with his time at Maverick’s last winter. Although he totaled just four sessions during one of the most consistent seasons in recent memory, two of his waves earned nominations for the Red Bull Big Wave Awards, Ride of the Year, and Biggest Paddle (plus one of the best complete air-drops we’ve seen in a minute). Wilem also got a nod from Stab Premium director and fellow big-waver Taylor Paul, as the standout on the biggest swell of 2021, amidst a field of international superstars like Kai Lenny, Lucas Chianca, and Grant Baker.

Lots of surfers charge in the big-wave game, but it’s hard to look stylish when doing so. Wilem is an outlier, as evidenced by that tucked-back knee and low, sturdy stance. Something about the slim margin for error and frantic adrenaline amid mother nature’s extremes tends to leave all superfluous thoughts on hand and feet placement at the door. 

Wilem’s hard work over the past few seasons paid off when he signed a deal with Vissla last October, which means fewer days hammering nails and more days nailing those fiendishly difficult airdrops. He’s also got flair in the air and on rail, too. 


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