Big waves have a certain mystique, at least when viewed from the beach or via the internet. When you get into the nitty-gritty, with tons of water moving around, the mystique can wear off pretty quickly. Now add in the typical programming chaos you might encounter at a crowded break like Malibu or Pleasure Point, and the crap gets downright awful.
With more and more people getting into surfing in recent years, surprisingly – or not – there are also more and more people getting into the waves of Maverick’s, Jaws and Nazaré. And unlike your local beachbreak, crowds in big wave locations can produce truly deadly scenarios. I met several rescue teams to find out what these historic places look like from a lifeguard’s perspective, and the efforts that have been made in recent years to manage the crowds of chargers who come to test themselves on some of the biggest and steepest waves. gnarled. in the world. I basically wanted to know where these rescue teams came from.