That's pretty much a wrap for 2017. This year's rapidly entering the rear view and is it it does, it's time to take stock of those moments that helped define these humble pages over the past 12 months.
Here at MSW HQ we aim to bring you an eclectic mix; bringing you those headline swells from on the ground, news, features, product reviews, interviews - shining the light on some of surfing's protagonists and also, those underground rippers who deserve column space. We've covered that extraordinary hurricane season. The devastation from Irma, Jose and Maria was shocking, and it felt a little conflicting bringing you the surf-related posts that inevitably filtered through.
Meanwhile, Nazare continues to dominate headlines, with an exclusive interview with Cotty on the most horrendous wipeout we've ever seen, and Europe faced its very own 50-year storm. Back in March, legendary director Bruce Brown spoke with MSW about his reflections on The Endless Summer; his wit and charisma present and one of the last interviews before his death, earlier this month.
Let's run down some of the defining moments. Hit the title of each piece to see the full wrap. In no particular order...
Snippet: With Nazaré now firmly understood as likely the world's largest freak beach break wedge the question of its upper limits remains wide open. While its reputation has continued to grow it almost feels to have done so inversely to the quality of swells the North Atlantic has been delivering.
Foiling a global cyber attack sounds like a task for the CIA or GCHQ, including Bond-eque levels of endeavour and hoopla. Not something regularly attributed to a UK-based surfer.
"I waited years to surf this wave and today it finally showed a glimpse of what it can become," says photographer Armando Goedgedrag. "Caught one of my all time favourite waves right before sunset. It's the dreamiest left we have here, but she usualy awakens every five years really good.”
What if there was sand-shifting machine patrolling your coast and whipping up banks at will? Well, you'd probably be wise to keep an eye on it. Take note from a few Gold Coast surfers who tracked Danish hopper dredger, “Balder R” while she sat offshore in Surfer's Paradise.
Do you recall, that defiant act of nonchalance from competitors at a Norwegian surf contest when a pod of orcas steamed into the lineup? Well, turns out, one of the competitors was Shannon Ainslie – the name should buzz at the back of your mind. Cast it back, way back, and you might remember that Shannon got hit by two great whites while surfing Nahoon Reef in East London, South Africa, his story making international headlines.
A little over half a century ago, Bruce Brown, Mike Hynson and Robert August set about travelling the world, documenting untouched setups – ones that had yet to be seen by the eyes of the wider surfing world.
“I pulled up over a lump. I knew it wasn't going to barrel or that I wasn't going to out run it, so I just hit the eject button and thought, fuck, I gotta get out of this. Then a whole world of pain happened.” The quote that defined Cotty's experience of being steam-rolled by a Nazare bomb.
This hurricane season has been no joke. Sure, surfers have scored, but there have been direct hits and significant damage. Despite this, you’d probably put Ireland on a list of places that really, really doesn’t need to expect a Hurricane. Not so today. Ophelia is heading that way. It’s already generating significant surf and it could make landfall in Ireland...