Last week, professional surfer Tom Dosland fell 40-feet down the front of a wave at Jaws, Maui's legendary surfing break. See the intensity of it all in the video above. Surfer magazine interviewed Dosland about the day:
Before this wave, I had paddled for a few and pulled back because it wasn’t quite lining up right. But when this wave came toward me, I was totally committed. It looked like a sea monster rising out of the ocean when it came my way. But I was going. No matter what. So I flipped around and started paddling to get into it. You can’t really tell from the video, but there was some wind blowing spray up the face as I was about to drop in, which pretty much blinded me for a few seconds. I could only see out of one eye, and only partially. So I was pretty much just going off of feeling for that brief second before you drop in. Then, I was able to open up both my eyes, and I realized what was about to happen.
That’s crazy you couldn’t see. Can you walk me through what happened next?
Once I started to drop in and could open both my eyes, I instantly realized that this wasn’t going to end well for me. So I sort of hit the eject button hoping to make the best of it and penetrate. I was free-falling for a while. It felt like I jumped off a cliff. That’s when my leash stretched out all the way and flipped me over head-first. From there, I hit the face and it was just a brutal beating, like I was in a car crash. It was so intense that I basically froze and forgot to pull my vest. Toward the end of it, I realized I hadn’t pulled the chord, so I finally did and popped to the top of the water. But yeah, it was rough, man.
Once you made it to the surface, what was going through your mind?
To be honest, I was sort of in shock from the wipeout still. That wave was so heavy. Once I came up, D.K. Walsh grabbed me on the ski and had this crazy look in his eye. I knew it must have looked nuts. He told me it was a pretty heavy wipeout and was sort of tripping that I was okay. We had a moment on the ski where we both laughed and tripped out that I was still alive. My board was completely destroyed, though.
"Legend of the Fall" (Surfer)