Peahi's seasonal debut didn't disappoint, Greg Long termed it, "The heaviest Jaws paddle session I have been a part of." This unusual northerly storm system provided a memorable opening day on Maui and a deeply sober event, the most probable drowning of Kirk Passmore, on Oahu's North Shore.
Often big waves and their practitioners are described in breathy superlatives of close shaves with death and incredible feats of derring-do. A death brings into sharp focus that banging the life out of a subject's vocabulary in no way lessens the risk involved. Big waves are deadly, as we are reminded of with depressing regularity, and anyone prepared to go out there and push themselves over the edge should be wrapped in laurel and applauded through the streets. Greg Long is renowned for being prepared and still he wasn't immune to almost drowning at Cortez Bank 11 months ago. Maya Gabeira had to be resuscitated out at Nazare only a few weeks back. This is the proving ground and paddling Peahi its apex.