Jaws is pretty much the biggest, big wave I have ever surfed. The wave just stands so tall when it hits the reef its a surreal experience when you’re out there and you see a set come in.
After being on Oahu for literally a couple of days it was looking like an amazing swell for Jaws. Myself and Josh packed a bag because it looked like just one day of good waves and headed for Maui, we ended up staying for almost 3 weeks i literally packed one tee shirt and one pair of pants i ended up having to barrow clothes from Albee haha. My friend and all round legend Albee Layer said we could stay with him which is such a huge help as its pretty hard to find a place to crash on Maui.
Albee picked us up from the Airport that evening and set Josh and me up in his little guest flat down stairs at his parents house who are both such amazing people. The property is amazing with 2 huge avocado tree’s, lemon, lime, grape fruit, orange and tangerine trees. In the morning we would literally get some avocados and a bunch of oranges and tangerines and make breakfast of Avocado on toast and fresh orange juice.
The morning ritual after breakfast pretty much was playing some one bounce to get warmed up then watching some Jaws footage before heading down to the cliff. The scariest part about surfing jaws for me is walking down the cliff and paddling in and out, I am pretty sure that anyone who has done that mission will agree with me.
First off, once you have you put your suit on and got your board together you have to walk down an almost vertical cliff with a 10ft plus board under your arm. On top of that the ground is super slippery, I almost ended my surfs and season very quickly by slipping and falling down that hill. Once you are at the bottom you are faced with what must be the worst paddle out in surfing.
There are round boulders that are at biggest the size of a car tyre, just small enough that they move around when the waves come and that you can get your anckles stuck between them. On top of that you have a 6ft shore break type wave breaking on the rocks. So you can imagine standing there with your huge gun is kinda intimidating to say the least. You have to time it so well cos if you go too soon the waves suck back and your boards gonna get banged on the rocks, andyou’ll probably loose your fins, if you go too late you will prob get a wave on your head and will have to ditch your board which will then get slammed on the rocks. Guys like Albee and the local boys have it super dialled where then know exactly when to jump. For everyone else you have to be really patient.
My first time padlling out I knocked my fin out, luckily the fin box wasnt too badly damaged and I was able to ask someone in the line up for a spare. I saw guys knock all their fins out and absolutley wreck their boards trying to paddle out.
Once you commit to go there is no turning back, you pick your time and then put your head down and paddle as hard as you possibly can.
Its such an a adreniline high that once you are out you kinda have to take a minute and focus on the giant waves out the back. Surfing at this point seems kinda easy and if all goes well in your surf and you dont break your board or yourself you can look forward to paddling in.
Which is a lot harder than going out as you have to catch a 6ft plus shore break up the rocks without somehow breaking your fins or yourself. The trick is to time it so that you ride the back of a wave as far up as you can, plant your feet inbetween some rocks and then let that wave suck back. Once it sucks back you need to scramble up the rocks hoping your leash doesn’t get stuck and you don’t slip. When you are safely back on dry land you have to cross this scketchy little river with really slippery boulders and then once again climb up the hill.
Lets just say that once you are back up there at the car and some kind sole offers you an ice cold beer it will probably be the best tasting beer you will ever have:)