One Shot: Wilder Shultz.
By Wilder Shultz.
Hope you’re all doing good through these strange times!
It was quite a while ago now, but I remember it was an early start! Made even more difficult by the freezing temperatures here in the winter!
It was quite a solid forecast, leaning towards the side of being too big.
There were quite a few guys sniffing at it though, all not wanting to be “that guy” or “that crew” that chickened out.
Everyone was also filled with the excitement of the potential of it just being big and pumping! We all gathered at one of the petrol stations on route to the wave, fueled up the cars with petrol and our bodies with coffee, and mosied on towards the wave.
We arrived at the beach and were greeted by a huge set. After giving it a good suss from the rocks, the boys finally decided it was doable and not as out of control as we expected!
Excitement levels quickly began to rise and the boys started suiting up. There were a fair few names floating around that parking lot with the likes of André Botha, Tristan Roberts and some of the more underground chargers that go just as hard out there, and stand up chargers Matt Bromley and Josh Redman keen to give it a nudge! Not to mention the amount of water housings being set up. I think everybody knew it was going to get pretty real out there.
Before any of the cameras were out and as I was about to jump off the rocks, local charger Allan Horton (who was one of the first out) went on a BOMB and got smoked as hard as he has ever gotten smoked out there. After a few reassuring high fives from the arriving members that he was alright, the bar had been set and the boys were going for it!
As is usually out there, and most places probably, the bigger ones weren’t necessarily the better ones. The big ones are just pretty rogue and just roll right through, not really barreling at all. You would try and dodge the big ones and pick out the medium ones in between but the allure of one of the bigger ones doing what the smaller ones do gets me every time.
Matt Bromley had this standing joke with a photographer he had previously worked with, that no matter where they were surfing, as soon as the biggest wave of the set would roll in the photographer would shout:
“Who wants the cover?! Gooooo!!”
Now he was kinda egging on to us this day.
When this particular wave rolled in, it looked huge and everyone’s thought was obviously to just leave it and let it roll through and we’ll wait and hope for better ones behind it. It wasn’t even my turn for a wave but Matt had shouted his phrase “Who wants the cover?!?” and playing along I said, “I do!” and turned around and pretended to go!
As I did this I was like, “Woah this thing is actually lining up great!”
I happened to be in the perfect spot, took a few paddles and rolled into this thing as easily as you would like out there.
I remember getting to the bottom with so much built up speed, pulled the nose up and just sat in this thing! It was so perfect!
I have never seen a wave that size break so perfectly out there before that or since then. It ran so far off the reef holding its shape so well even a few of the photographers got barrelled as well!
Eventually, it was in such deep water that the barrel squashed down to like one foot in the blink of an eye and smooshed me out the back in the channel.
When I popped up all the photos and guys paddling back were just screaming and scrambling around in the wash that this thing had made in the normally flat channel of water!
I feel really blessed to have lucked into that thing and see how stoked all the boys were! It’s gonna be a real long time, if ever, before I forget that moment!