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April 28, 2012

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I grew up surfing. For me, 9 ft. waves were pretty big, let alone 90. Of course we didn't have tow-in surfing back in the day which gives you the speed to catch these huge waves. You could never paddle into a wave like this. Not that I would want to.

The video just doesn't capture the true relative size of that wave due to the elevation of the camera position and distance from the action.

Pretty huge. About the size of a nine story building? Very cool.

Now I guess someone will have to ride the first 100 ft. wave.

You might enjoy a fairly new surfing film called Highwater http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0775482/

What about Garret Lisi, the surfer that is also a physicist with a theory of everything? He speaks of things that sound similar.

Surfing. Not my cup of tea, for sure! My ex-wife and I honeymooned in Hawaii in 1979. The beach at Honolulu was like an 80 degree bathtub with seaweed. We decided to try some of the more interesting beaches on the North shore of Oahu. We went to (not sure of the spelling) Waiamea Bay, which, unbeknownst to us, is one of the most famous surfing beaches in the world. We were totally unwelcome there, as everyone on the beach stopped what they were doing to ogle us, including the lifeguards.

What made my wife and I stand out was the fact that the both of us have almost zero melanin in our skin. We were (and still are) white as ghosts. The waves were averaging about 15-20 feet that day and signs were posted warning about the vicious undertow. The North Shore of Oahu is like a cliff - two or three steps into the water and you are shoulder deep. As we were headed to the water's edge, someone ran over to us and said that we were going to ruin everyone's day because we were "shark bait". It was explained to us that our alabaster white bodies would reflect sunlight and attract sharks into the vicinity. It seemed plausible, but we were determined to get into the ocean despite the protestations.
Bad mistake. As soon as we stepped into the water, we were dragged out into the ocean by the undertow. There were several lifeguards at the water's edge laughing and pointing at us as we tried to get out of the water. It took about 1/2 hour but we managed to get out of the ocean without the assistance of the lifeguards. Our swimsuits were full of crushed seashells and we were pink and red from the scrapes and abrasions we received, courtesy of the undertow that dragged us back out into the water just as were were about to make it to the beach.

When we came back from Hawaii, everyone asked if we really went there, because we were just as white as when we left.

Willie R,

Too bad you were at Waimea when it was breaking. Usually it isn't and it is a fine place for swimming, snorkling and exploring the beautiful world of coral reef life. What you call "undertow" was probably just backwash from the shorebreak that was giving you a rough time providing comic relief for the lifeguards. You probably weren't in any real danger.

Hey folks, check out some radical waves:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJ_Z12amAU4

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