Peahi, January 11.
All star crew charge the first challenging swell of the decade at Jaws on the island of Maui.
Laird Hamilton, Ross Clark Jones, Ian Walsh, Carlos Burle, Kai Lenny, Ikaika Kalama, Makua Rothman, Robert Teriitehau, Manoa Drollet and many more.
Early in the morning Maui County head lifeguard Archie Kalepa, severely injuring his left knee during a session with tow partner Buzzy Kerbox .
"I was too deep, too far behind the peak, and there was no place for me to go," said Kalepa, to the Honolulu Advertiser. "It broke in front of me and I tried to outrun it as much as I could but the whitewater caught up with me.
"It definitely was the biggest we've had in the last four years. There were a lot of new guys out there and guys from back in the old days, when if we had five [personal watercraft] out there, that was a crowd," Kalepa said.
Laird Hamilton also suffered a shoulder injury after being hit by his board due to a drop in. The 20 to 25ft+ NW swell lasted all day although the wind picked up in the afternoon. For his second time at Jaws, Manoa Drollet caught a few good waves but also copped a spectacular wipe out when the strap of his board snapped just as he was bottom turning on a set wave. Thanks to his two life vests he popped back up pretty quick.
After pulling Laird onto twenty or more waves, mostly on the left, Dave Kalama kept going all morning dropping off Kai Lenny on some clean medium-sized waves. Around 10 o'clock, Carlos Burle scored one of the few tubes of the day. Ross Clark Jones rode probably the biggest right- hander of the swell around midday, just before it started to decrease slowly. Makua Rothman, Ikaika Kalama and Ian Walsh were also stand outs during the session.
Robert Teriitehau as usual put on a show riding waves with no vest, towing surfers sitting backwards on his jetski and keeping smiles on everybody in the line up.
Upon news of the cancellation of the big wave paddle event, Ross Clark Jones actually jumped on a plane that evening to chase the swell over at Mavericks.
35 jetskis, 3 helicopters , 3 planes. 25 feet 17 seconds largest buoy readings this year. . It was the giggest Jaws session for a long time and no doubt many rides will be contenders for the Billabong XXL big wave awards.