How Dangerous is Big Wave Surfing?

How Dangerous is Big Wave Surfing

Big wave surfing is an extremely dangerous sport. Unlike the usual surfing style many people know, big wave surfing involves greater height and force of waves in the deeper part of the ocean. Hence, injuries are more fatal.

Monstrous waves are fun to catch. They will make your heart race and satisfy your cravings for some adrenaline. However, note that the bigger the surface wave is, the more dangerous it is.

What makes big waves dangerous?

Big waves are stronger and heavier compared to the ones that beginners to intermediate surfers can catch. And because of this, big waves come with numerous dangers.

First, the big waves can easily push you down the surface. Add in the things found on the seafloor, such as the seaweeds, and you can get easily trapped underwater until you drown.

Sharp reefs can also make your big wave surfing even more dangerous. The huge powerful waves could push you down to the sharp reefs. As a result, you can get injured.

Also, bigger waves often occur in the deeper part of the ocean. And in such part of the ocean is where sharks and other dangerous animals lurk. And when these animals feel threatened in their habitat, chances are, they will not hesitate to attack you while you’re surfing.

Injuries You Can Get While Big Wave Surfing

Injuries You Can Get While Big Wave Surfing

Big wave surfing can put you at risk of injuries. And these injuries aren’t different from the ones you may suffer from while surfing medium-sized waves. This includes lacerations, sprains, dislocations, fractures, as well as surfer’s ear.

What makes big wave surfing more daunting, though, is that the injuries you can get are more deadly. Fortunately, there are others who were able to make it alive.

Aldemir Calunga was one of the big wave surfers who nearly died while surfing the gigantic waves of Puerto Escondido. He suffered from a cardiorespiratory arrest, as well as deep lacerations on his face.

Fortunately, rescuers were able to pull him out of the water and resuscitate him. Afterward, he was taken to the hospital where medical practitioners put him in a medically-induced coma. A few days, after, he regained consciousness.

Has anyone died of surfing big waves?

Has anyone died of surfing big waves?

Surfing big waves will not only cause you injuries and traumas. Unfortunately, it can also get deadly. Even experienced big wave surfers aren’t safe. In fact, in the past decades, there have been numerous unfortunate events that claimed the lives of many surfers.

Mark Foo

Mark Foo is one of the notable big wave surfers who lost his life surfing the towering waves of the Mavericks in California. Reports say that he got entangled on the rocks and the huge waves held him down. Two hours later, his body was recovered while still being tied to his board.

His death, which happened in 1994, shocked the world because it was around the time when the huge waves of the Mavericks were just discovered. Additionally, it was a piece of surprising news as Foo was famous for being an expert at catching huge waves.

Donnie Solomon

Donnie Solomon was also a talented surfer. Even in his younger years, his talent already shined through.

However, in 1995 he fell into his demise. While surfing Waimea Bay’s gigantic waves, he got caught up mid-way up to the face of the wave. However, he was thrown over.

He tried to swim but, unfortunately, the approaching waves got bigger, which made it harder for him to get out of the water.

Todd Chesser

Hawaii’s waters took the life of the promising big wave surfer Todd Chesser. He got caught in the waves at Outside Alligators where the waves can get as huge as 25 feet, with 50-foot faces.

Like Donnie Solomon, Chesser was also held down by the big waves he was trying to surf. He tried to swim and when he resurfaces, he was semiconscious.

While his companions were quick to converge to help him, another set of huge waves rolled through. This sent each of them in different directions. 

Rescuers and his loved ones spent hours looking for him. He was found tangled in the rock, already unable to be revived.

Big wave surfing sure is dope but you must train if you want to surf it because it involves tremendous dangers. Even the most skilled and experienced surfers have suffered from injuries. Some even died while surfing gigantic waves. It’s not ideal for surfers who aren’t confident with their skills yet.

About Carla Mesina

I'm a journalist passionate about extreme sports. I love writing and reading stories about those brave people that are going beyond the limit of their physical capabilities.

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