What A ‘Perfect’ Paddle Day Looks Like At Jaws - Stab Mag

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What A ‘Perfect’ Paddle Day Looks Like At Jaws

Mostly not enticing. 

cinema // Mar 4, 2024
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 2 minutes

“If you’re not getting barrelled at Jaws it just doesn’t seem that impressive anymore”, Maui native and Stab Highway star Kai Paula told Stab last year. “Now there’s a whole bunch of guys out there getting monster tubes and knifing it from the takeoff. For a long time people were just pointing it straight and trying to survive. Albee and those guys changed that, which is gnarly because no one had proven it was possible. Surfing Jaws has evolved quickly.”

The following clip comes from Tucker Wooding and features 4x Jaws Champ Billy Kemper, 2023 SSOTY winner Nathan Florence, and big-wave specialists: Torrey Meister, Tyler Larronde and Albee Layer + more. It was shot during the January run of swell in 2023 that ended up rolling into the Eddie Aikau event in Waimea.

“The lineup at Jaws is huge and there’s two main sections, the West Bowl and the North Peak,” Kai explains. “You’ll see a lot of guys sitting on the North Peak trying to get those big roll-ins into the West Bowl (note Billy’s approach). Albee, Torrey and Tyler will normally sit on the West Bowl on much smaller boards and try to knife it under the ledge. As far as lining it up, I’m still gauging the spot based on where guys are sitting. There’s a couple of landmarks but they’re all quite far away, so it can be confusing. I pretty much just sit where Albee sits.”

I sense there’s a bit of Mr Miyagi going on.

“Sitting on the West Bowl is also good because you can paddle towards the channel pretty easily and avoid the cleanups. The North Peak is gnarlier because if you get caught, you’re probably going to cop multiple waves on the head before you get flushed into the channel. Having said that, I haven’t been properly smoked yet, and yeah, I can’t say I’m looking forward to it,” Kai concludes.

Now that you know how to do Jaws, tell everyone.

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