Last year, it was Kalani Lattazni paddling into oversized mountains in Puerto Escondido, before that it was Damian Boone, Miles Keauhaahaa and Alan Lamphere taking on the mighty Jaws.
Now, it is Brazilian shredder Magno Passos who is the latest bodyboarder to enter into the big wave bodyboarding spotlight with his efforts out at the legendary Jaws, Maui during an XXL swell on January 15.
Above photo by Gavin Shige
In case you missed it, Magno paddled into what some are calling the biggest wave ever paddled on a bodyboard when he took on a 45-foot monster at the famous Hawaiian break.
The two time Latin American bodyboarding champion – who also finished fifth on the world tour in 2007 and eighth in 2008 – is no stranger to paddling at Jaws, having taken on the wave almost one year to the day ago. See below.
Now living in Maui with his wife Katherine and their son, Magno is a regular around the local reef breaks but aims to further his pursuit to ride massive walls at the famed Jaws.
Riptide caught up with Magno to chat to him about that wave, and his plans for 2016 in bodyboarding.
RT: What made you want to paddle out there and surf it?
MP: I missed the swell that hit Maui on the previous Monday because I was busy. So it was really frustrating to me. But my will and intuition convinced me that i could not miss this swell so I stayed in touch with Mike (Stewart) this whole time (he almost came for this swell) we were tracking the swell together, and it happened I was there on perfect time and perfect place. Thank God.
RT: What was it like paddling out to the famous break, and into the channel with all the famous big wave surfers? Were you daunted?
MP: It was amazing. Many good things happened. The only and first guy I saw and I actually spoke to when I was still on the cliff was Aaron Gold.
“We had a little chat catching up on a few things and then my wife came over and said, ‘what are you guys waiting for?'”
I met him on Oahu last year when we were filming for a movie that will be released soon from the walking on water team called the surfer cowboys. We had a little chat catching up on a few things and then my wife came over and said, “what are you guys waiting for?” We ran to the water at this time there were only five or six guys in the water, Kay Lenny was the only one that I recognised. But Im pretty sure Ian Walsh was there too.
RT: Did you do much training beforehand?
MP: Not for such challenging conditions, It is hard in everyday training to be pushed this hard manually and physically.
RT: Did you catch just one wave and paddle in? We heard you lost your fin out there?
MP: Yes only one wave. I lost my fin when I was still on the wave, I believe half way down. My fin saver tore the fin apart. But believe it or not I made it off the wave without any damage.
Above: 45 feet of raw power and just a 41.5 inches of foam keeping you from potential death. Would you do it? Sequence provided by Lucas Caiado.
RT: You paddled out with another bodyboarder, who was that?
MP: His name is Lucas Caiado he is going back to Brazil on Tuesday, but he has been living on Maui for almost a year. He is staying at my house and he is from the same state im from in Brazil. We were the only two bodyboarders out there.
“It felt I was going 100km an hour downhill without any control of the situation.”
RT: How big do you think the wave was?
MP: One photographer who’s is very experienced in Jaws said it was 45 ft face. Bruno Lemos is his name.I believe it was around that.
RT: What was the feeling like of riding a massive wave at Jaws?
MP: It was very hectic actually. Very awkward and hard to describe. It felt I was going 100km an hour downhill without any control of the situation. The bumps on the wave makes it really hard. It’s really hard just to catch the wave u have to sit so far down.
RT: Will you do it again?
MP: Sure I will. this is just the beginning.
RT: There seems to be more bodyboarders paddling into big wave spots that are traditionally dominated by standup surfers. Any thoughts on this? Do you think it brings a new dynamic to the sport of bodyboarding?
MP: I think so for sure. It’s so funny the amount of people out on the cliff that almost laugh at me when they asked me if was going to “boogie board” Jaws and I reply with a yes. For sure it is something a lot pf people thought wouldn’t be possible. They can only think that to surf big waves without the help of a ski you need a big board so it is definitely a new dynamic to the sport.
Above: And another angle, this time by Damian Antioco/ Dooma Photos.
RT: What kind of board did you ride? Were there any special modifications for dealing with a big wave spot like Jaws?
MP: I rode the Science Launch 41.5 the same board everyone can buy at a regular shop, no specials modifications just a regular basis bodyboard, Polypro core, one stringer. I had no life vest either.
RT: If you do it again, what kind of modifications do you think you would need to better handle the wave on a bodyboard?
MP: I think there are many changes to be made, many, many changes! I am still trying to process them in my mind. A renowned shaper here on Maui for big waves just opened the door of his factory to maybe try to create some kind bodyboard for waves like Jaws.
RT: You have scored an invite to the Pipe invitational, how does that feel?
MP: It feels amazing. to be able to compete in Pipe with only four guys out is something incredible. an unique experience.
RT: You are no stranger to competing at the world tour and at Pipe, do you intend to return to the world tour at some stage or just continue free surfing?
MP: I definitely intend to go back on tour. Let’s see what will happen this year.
Follow Magno Passos on Facebook.