After a two year hiatus from Tasmania’s notorious big wave spot, would you paddle into a bomb of this size?
We certainly wouldn’t, but that’s why we let others do the crazy stuff while we just sit from the comfort of our office chair and write about their feats of bravery.
Enter stage left, Jeremy “Jezza” Faulds. One of the OG’s of Shipsterns who has not been seen at the southern slab in recent years due to its increasing popularity for “XXL Big Wave Surfers”.
Well Jezza decided to make the journey to his old stomping ground for a mid-week session in the hope that the big wave tow chiefs have left their skis at home or really CBF’d making the journey for what was a 50/50 swell.
The result? Little crowds, good vibes and Jezza walking away with the memory of tackling Shipsterns beast, just like the good ol’ days. The footage and photos of this wave have lit up our social media feeds, so we tracked down Mr Faulds for his take on the wave and managed to find a unique sequence that hasn’t seen light yet.
Words by Jeremy Faulds | Sequence by Jimmy Smith
I actually hadn’t surfed Shippies for two years prior to this session. Not that I’d lost my drive for surfing big waves but in recent years the vibe out at the Stern had changed. Crowds had become thicker and everyone was hungrier. I guess it’s hard being from the older generation, thinking back to days of old when it was just a few of the boys going wave for wave down there. Everyone keeps an eye on it now, not so much people from the mainland but more locals! There’s easily 6-8 bodyboarders and 6-8 surfers who are onto every swell, add a few visitors and the line up is fairly packed.
Last Tuesday looked like a “borderline” swell, could have been the perfect paddle day or could have been too small. It just so happened to fall on my day off, I hadn’t heard of too much hype surrounding the swell and thought it could be a fun locals only paddle day, like the good old days. Local surfer Marti Paradisis hit me up to take the ski with him and the thought of not having to walk had me sold!!! Hahaha.
We got there first light and honestly we hadn’t seen a wave break and Marti was in the line up, I only joined him to keep him company. Sure enough a few more people paddled out and the vibe was good. I was the only booger and was able to pick off a few nice once that the surfers couldn’t get into. Marti waited an hour and a half before his first wave, it was sick too. Heaps off hooting, everyone was frothing.
“Someone will paddle a 12 foot bomb out there soon, It’s just a matter of getting lucky and being in the right place at the right time.”
Then there was the one behind it… It didn’t look that big, It looked long and meaty but not that big. I heard the people on the rocks start screaming, I could hear Gibbo (renowned photographer Stu Gibson) start screaming (he was shooting water) and when Gib starts screaming to go, you gotta go. So I went. Due to the higher tide it didn’t step out too hard but enough for me to bounce just a little.
I honestly thought I had it but there was a little warp at the end that kinda shut down on me. Good view though. Good rush. I didn’t really know how big it was, maybe 10-12ft, looks bigger from land than water but definitely the biggest wave I’ve ever ridden. Kinda spewing I didn’t make it though.
It was more luck than anything, lucky that I was the only booger in the line up, if Harley (Ward), Charles (Ward), Noodle (Nick Nairn-Smith) or Thomas Bros (Sam and Cohen) had been next up they would have gone too. Everyone is pushing each other down there, Noodle has already ridden what I think is the biggest paddle but there will be bigger. Someone will paddle a 12 foot bomb out there soon, it’s just a matter of getting lucky and being in the right place at the right time.