"THAT was the best wave I have ever seen in my life." Dave Wassel said as Stu Johnson transported him from his boat to the top of the line and a single unridden 20ft bomb reeled down the reef, untamed by the 20-25 big wave maniacs out at Cloudbreak.
"People were comparing this session all day to the waves in July last year, and honestly it wasnt quite as big as July but the surfing was undeniably more polished. Guys were making the craziest sections." Said Stu. "Top performers I would have to say: Ian Walsh, Ramon Navaro, Reef Mcintosh, Dave Wassel, John Florence, Mark Healy and honorable mention and then some for everyone else."
Waiting after so much hype was intolerable - two weeks ago this swell lit up the charts and we dropped the big word, then it leaked that the event would swap to Restaurants and boom the bottom dropped out of the world. But hang on, the morning surf check saw small onshore Restaurants and 10ft building Cloudbreak, cue: the great swap. After a maddening few hours frantically hauling kit into the tower at Cloudbreak, a two mile tinny bump and thump across the water from Tavarua the event was on.
The second Adam Melling dropped into a bomb you saw why they wanted to surf Restaurants. Cloudbreak was tricky, big waves, mountainous moguls on the face, rivers of water rushing through the line-up and no real barrels. Turns out Cloudbreak doesn't look perfect all the time, espcially not at this size. Adam Melling's board was chattering like a gurning teen on Tavarua face chunks, the face of the wave not much much smaller than a Big Wave World Tour stop. Balls to the wall, no real barrels to kick-off but heck these guys can surf the big stuff don't doubt that.
© Stu Johnson