Big-wave surfers are mental. 40-knot winds and sheeting rain do not deter them from riding big swell. When the buoy readings get into the 7, 8, 9 meter-range, then big-wave surfers grab their gear and head out to chance that the wind and sea will cooperate just long enough for them to get a few glorious rides.
That’s exactly what happened to Alfy Carter and Dave Delroy Carr last week off the southwest Australian coast. The swell was predicted to be big, so they were hoping to get some waves. Everyone else stayed home due to the gale-force winds and terrible weather. When the two surfers arrived, the water was freezing, the wind was howling, and the upset water was a deep chocolate-brown.
As they hoped, the wind died down and they got a chance to snap some photos of the monstrous waves. Alfy caught one wave that will put him in contention for Oakley Surfing Life Big Wave Awards to be judged in February 2010. He also got one that tossed him like a rag-doll towards the limestone reef below the black water. He had too much speed, stalled too hard, and was pulled up the face before being thrown toward the reef.
This was Dave’s first session with Alfy and he thinks they got pretty lucky. He’s hoping to get to the spot again on another big day. Competing for the $35,000 prize up for grabs is a big incentive to catch the biggest wave surfed in Australian waters for the season.