Tasmania's Off The Scale

A circumnavigation of Tasmania may not sound like everyone's cup of tea. However, throw in a healthy dose of Roaring 40s swell, a few jetskis and a local Tassie hellman - then you get the devil's own brew. James Holmer Cross takes us on a journey.

When the charts light up like this ... You've just got to go

When the charts light up like this ... You've just got to go

© 2016 - msw

When Shipsterns is like this - a perfect paddle day, sunny, 8 to 10ft with no wind - it is hard to imagine what a monster it can turn into. James Homer Cross

In the tube taken from the warmth of the hut ... James Hollmer Cross

In the tube taken from the warmth of the hut ... James Hollmer Cross

© 2016 - jameshx

Dropping into the beast ... James Hollmer Cross,

Dropping into the beast ... James Hollmer Cross,

© 2016 - jameshx

During the last few days of 2008 I completed a circumnavigation of Tasmania, surfing epic swells along the way. Living at the bottom of Tassie it took me eight hours to drive to the west coast and get a day of this swell. The coast here is really remote it only has a few farmers and a couple fishermen. This shot was taken on the first day of the by Stuart Gibson, from the front room of the lodge. If you look closely I'm actually in the tube of this wave. I was riding a 7'8, I tried to surf it on a 7'0 earlier in the day but because the wind was so strong off shore it was too hard to get into. It totally pumped that afternoon when the wind backed off.

Pumping for speed, getting ready for the end bowl ... James Hollmer Cross

Pumping for speed, getting ready for the end bowl ... James Hollmer Cross

© 2016 - jameshx

I left again that night so I would be back home again for a day at Shipsterns. As you can see it pumped. When Shippies is this big the step is always a challenge, the key is to hit the step at the base of the wave and the bottom as quick as you can. When it is bigger you might get cleaned up one in five waves as some are just unmakeable. You can normally avoid the really ugly ones. I made the step on this one but got mowed down by the lip, the hold-down was quiet severe.

Dropping into a big secret ... James Hollmer Cross

Dropping into a big secret ... James Hollmer Cross

© 2016 - jameshx

A solid tube ... James Hollmer Cross

A solid tube ... James Hollmer Cross

© 2016 - jameshx

This is a new but insane secret to the south of Tassie. I made the drop here and got a nice tube.

In the sweet spot ...  James Hollmer Cross

In the sweet spot ... James Hollmer Cross

© 2016 - jameshx

After some sleep I was got up at 4am and set out for the eastern coast of Tassie to score another rare thick reefbreak. In the couple of days I was there I scored some amazing waves. But I can only do this because of my sponsors: Ripcurl, Red Herring Surf, Creatures of Leisure and Outereef.

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Ed Temperley

MSW editor. Instagram @edtemperley