Biggest Wave Ever Caught On Film?

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Ghost Trees, Tyler Smith

Transworld SURF: Okay, Nelly, how big was it?

Dave Nelson: I’d say it was 80-100 feet on the face. Definitely the biggest wave I’ve ever seen. Probably twice as big as any wave I’ve ever seen. Look at the ski; it’s 12-feet long and is towing a five-foot boogie board–do the math. The ski looks so tiny.

When was this?

Saturday, January 5th at around 10:30am.

Who was out there?

Russell and Tyler Smith, Anthony Tashnik and Ross Clarke-Jones, Peter Mel and Skindog, Tyler Fox and Shane Desmond, and Tim Reyes and his partner Nick Grenenger.

Where were the tow teams when that wave came through?

They were spread out everywhere. There were rogue waves breaking everywhere–not like usual where it breaks in the same spot every time.

How do they get out there when it’s like that?

The tow teams have to motor out from Monterey and go around the headland, it’s over a twenty-mile ride. When they got there it was all glassy, but the wind kicked in hard and by the time they left the wind was like 35-40 knots with rogue waves breaking everywhere. The guys all left at the same time and stuck together for the ride back which was right into the wind and rising swell. Full life and death situation, man.

What else happened that day?

Well, we all got kicked off the point there by a park ranger. I kinda got into it with him, too.

No, not you.

Yeah, I don’t get it. Why block off this beautiful place so nobody can see and use it? Another thing was that it was Peter Davi’s (legenadary local surfer who passed away at Ghost Trees Dec. 4) birthday and there were a bunch of people there thinking about and paying respects to him.

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