Big wave surfing can be split into two simple sub sections. On one hand, there are those paddleable mountains of water that are all about a critical drop and trying to get that 10'0 on rail and to the channel, (if there is one). On the other, there are those mutated, backless, heaving lumps where the goal is to enter and exit the biggest barrel without being tossed onto a rock shelf—the absolutely unpaddleable. WA hellman Zac Haynes has arguably been tackling the best, (worst for me and you) of both worlds over the last year.
"The Right and Nazare—it's almost two different sports the way you have to surf them and the different lines you have to take but both are just as intimidating as each other in different ways," Zac Haynes tells magicseaweed. "The Right, to be deep enough to get barrelled, it feels like you're pulling into a closeout. And Nazare, sitting, waiting for a wave, you never know if one will just wedge up and break on your head or if you'll be in the right spot to catch it. But that's what makes it so fun and exciting. But kind of scary in a way too.
"The wipeouts are so different. Both are long but The Right has more water in it almost and feels more violent whereas Nazare is still violent, but it seems to roll you a lot more and drag you farther under water."
So, the question remains, if you had to?