Surfing A 40 Foot Wave At Night

How would you feel about surfing a wave 40 foot tall at an outer reef more than a mile out to sea... at night? Professional big wave surfer Mark Visser recently asked himself this question. His answer was quite clear - pretty good. "I am so pumped to achieve something that no one thought possible and that I was told couldn't be done," he told journalists after completing the feat last night.

Using specially designed lighting technology, including a submarine light from NASA, Visser rode an absolute monster at Jaws Reef, a popular (but notoriously dangerous) 'tow in' spot, at around 2 a.m. The reason it is called a 'tow-in' spot is because the waves are too big to paddle into - surfers literally have to be towed into them by jet skis. For added safety and to capture the incredible ride on film, Visser was monitored by a chopper. Check out the crazy clip:



Visser's incredible ride came on the night after the most prestigious Big Wave contest in the world - the 'In Memory if Eddie Aikau' - was called off for inconsistent conditions. One of the requirements for the 'Eddie' to go ahead at Waimea Bay is a minimum of 20 foot waves.

What they don't tell you is that surfers do not measure the waves from the front - they are measured from the back. So a '20 foot wave' is actually around 40 foot high.

more blog posts

Clayton Truscott

Clayton Truscott

Clayton is a comfortable traveller, having grown up in a small city that was far away from everything. He spent lots of time in the car as a child, driving up and down the coast of South Africa on surfing trips with his family. After studying abroad in the United States and spending a year working in London, he moved to Cape Town, where he completed a Master's Degree in Creative Writing. He now works as a freelance writer for various travel, surfing and action sports publications.