The big wave surf off the legendary reef of Hawaii’s Maui beach, nicknamed “Jaws” for its massive waves (sometimes reaching 120 feet), just saw its first real swell of the season. As you can see in the video above, Shane Dorian rode two of the biggest waves on Oct. 9, and both rides will be early entries in the 2013 Global XXL Billabong Big Wave Award season.
Maui’s “Jaws” is a cistern for huge waves, and has become known over the last decade for popularizing the use of jet skis to tow in the surfer to larger and more auspicious waves. Big wave surfers have gained most of their acclaim and sponsorship dollars as a result of the various interviews and films starring Laird Hamilton.
Recently, however, there’s been a change in the big wave surfing scene. Like Shane’s ride a couple weeks ago, surfers at traditional tow-in spots like Jaws are now simply using their arms to approach the same towering waves they used to with a jet ski or any other mechanical towing device. Some, like Laird, feel this is a reversion back for surfing rather than a step forward, but the paddle-surfing big wavers want to prove they can conquer swells without a jet ski.
Dorian certainly proved it.