Two years in the making, RED BULL JAWS is the brainchild of Ian Walsh, Pe'ahi's resident big wave expert with a nose for a swell.
"Once we started paddling Jaws, the idea for the event slowly started to form," explains Walsh. "I was just imagining what it could do for the level of riding big waves, and it seemed like over the last few years there's a really substantial swell somewhere around the world that resets the bar and progression of what guys are capable of doing in big waves. It seems like now is the right time for a contest like this."
The ideal conditions for the event to be called "on" are wave face heights of between 30 and 50 feet, from a NNW swell direction with light winds.
"We will be looking for a swell that challenges the upper limits of paddle-in surfing," says Competition Director Mike Parsons. "Over the last five years Jaws has set the bar in the big wave paddle realm. The conditions we're looking for are a strong northwest swell from 330 degrees with face heights from 30-50 feet with smooth surface conditions." Parsons adds, "Jaws is unique in that it requires a more Northerly angled swell. When the swell direction is 330 degrees or above Jaws will often be double the size of Waimea due to swell direction."
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