Largest Wave in 20 Years Wipes Out Lineup March 17 2014, 0 Comments

Every surfer makes this deci­sion, usu­ally a few times per ses­sion: OK, I see I’m caught inside. Do I sprint-paddle out to sea, try­ing to make it over the top before the wave breaks in front of me? Or do I try to sur­vive right here, get­ting my butt kicked in heavy whitewater?

If you go for it, but mis­cal­cu­late, you just used up your breath & energy sprint­ing, only to put your­self in the worst pos­si­ble spot. If you stay put, you might have more energy to fight the battle but could bear the brunt of the full force of the ocean on the head.

Mark Healy found him­self fac­ing the biggest wave on the biggest day in 20 years at Tavarua’s leg­endary Cloud­break. Not too many indi­vid­ual waves become famous. But this one did.

Accord­ing to wit­nesses, this par­tic­u­lar wave actu­ally rearranged refrig­er­a­tor sized boul­ders on the reef, send­ing them fly­ing on impact. To hear Mark describe it sends chills down your spine.

This winter on the north shore we reunited Mark with this historic moment in the form of a 20x30 print on metal so he could remember that day forever. Photographer Tom Servais hand delivered it and was kind enough to take this snap of Mark with the actual board in the image. It's truly amazing that both are still in one piece.