Sunday night TV viewing is normally pretty dull, so imagine my delight when I discovered the Pe’ahi Challenge was being streamed live and I was able to get online and watch some of the worlds best big wave surfers throwing themselves over the edge at Jaws. It was Billy Kemper who went on to win the first ever WSL Big Wave Tour event at the notorious spot, although there were many heroic and gutsy performances as the competitors paddled themselves into the watery behemoths. For those who missed it or want to relive those nail biting moments the WSL have released a highlight video of all the best action.
Although Jaws is best known as a big wave tow spot, the Pe’ahi Challenge was strictly paddle only and social media lit up as surf fans tuned in and watched open mouthed as the competitors endured long hold downs, free fall face drops, dramatic rescues and even skis getting trashed in amongst the chaos. Although most of the competitors and safety team members all survived relatively unscathed, Australian Mark Matthews got drilled into the reef and after a hold down of nearly a minute, emerged with a fractured and dislocated shoulder.
The highlight video can be seen below and we are now wondering if following the Pe’ahi Challenge, Andre Botha’s heroic rescue of Evan Geiselman and the Pipe Masters just about to get started with 6 potential title contenders, is this shaping to be the most exciting week ever in Hawaii?