The Top Five World’s Biggest Surf Locations
Big wave surfing is one of the most exhilarating and dangerous things you can do on the Earth. When you drop in on that wave, you are basically jumping off a 5-10 story building with nothing but a fiberglass board under your feet, and you are moving at speeds of up to 65 mph. Only the most daring and crazy people go big-wave surfing. I have always been really interested in the science behind these waves. Now, I have created a list of the top five world’s biggest surf locations. Starting off at number five, we have Waimea, Oahu.
The Waimea Bay is located on the northern shore of O’ahu in Hawaii. During winter at on the northern shore, Waimea, and other locations such as The Banzai Pipeline and Sunset Beach, host large surf contests due to its massive wave surges.These waves are caused by northern storms that bring waves that can travel hundreds of miles before reaching the shore. The bay’s reef break helped the early creation of big wave surfing in 1957 and has been surfed by bigger names since then.
Nazare Portugal is a small traditional town that became widely known and popular for it’s massive waves. In 2011, Garret McNamara, surfed a record high wave of 78 feet from trough to crest. That’s almost one third of a football field! Every year Garret McNamara and other famous names come back and surf these XXL waves during the winter swell. Nazare’s waves are formed and created because of a very large trench that acts as a breakwall for the waves. Waves will travel across the coast until it reaches this point and when the waves pass through the trench they are stretched out and gain force. Once these masses of water reach the edge of the trench, the force of the wave is forced upward and forms into massive five story waves.
Mavericks, California is a big-wave surfing spot 2 miles off the coast from Pillar Point Harbor. Waves at Mavericks can start to form at 25 feet and eventually break at over 60 feet. Mavericks is a rare spot where the waves don’t break on a reef but on a deep rock formation about 40 feet
below the surface. In winter, Mavericks is home to some of the world’s greatest big wave surfers and very few of them are willing to risk their lives on these massive waves. In 1994, Jay Moriarity, a fifteen year old boy was one of the most famous people to ever surf this massive wave. He was one of the few people to surf those massive waves and succeed during that years incredible El Nino. You can watch the story of how he surfed these waves by watching the movie, Chasing Mavericks.
Banzai pipeline, Hawaii
The Banzai Pipeline, or just Pipeline is located off Ehukai Beach Park in Pupukea on Oahu’s North Shore. Pipeline is an incredible reef break where waves are formed almost perfectly. A reef break is an area in the ocean where waves start to break once they reach the shallows of a reef. Pipelines waves are known for its astonishingly dangerous break over it’s sharp and treacherous reef. Pipeline is often considered the world’s most deadly wave. On average, Pipeline’s waves are about 9 feet but can be larger due to northern swells or tropical storms coming from the north.
Jaws, Peahi Hawaii
Peahi is a location on the north shore of the Hawaii. This surf spot is known as Peahi but is mainly known as Jaws. The waves at Jaws can grow to be 60 feet ( 18 meters) during the months of December to March. These waves attract big wave surfers from all over the world. Jaws is an especially famous tow-in spot because of the almost impossible paddle out to the waves from the beach. The cause of Jaws’ massive waves is due to a structure of an underwater bridge which has been studied by scientists. Over the years there have been several “World Cup of Tow-in Surfing” contests, but the changing conditions of the waters have made the contest hard to date.
This will conclude the list of the world’s biggest surf locations. Remember, if you know someone who is planning to surf these locations, remind them of the danger that these waves can inflict on them.