Twenty-one of the world’s most fearless big wave surfers have been invited to take on the notorious giant wave break in the inaugural Red Bull Jaws Paddle at Pe‘ahi event on Maui’s North Shore this winter. During the holding period of Dec. 7, 2012-Mar.15, 2013, competing athletes will drop-in on a monstrously ideal day with no assistance from motorized watercraft. That’s right–none of that tow-in stuff.
This is the real deal paddle-in, ball-dropping, big wave surf event that adrenaline junkies and surf fanatics alike fantasize about. With the green light for the event requiring a specific set of conditions, including a 330-degree strong northwest angled swell and wave face heights of 30 to 50 feet, it’s likely this event will muster a talent pool of notable proportions.
Two years in the making, Red Bull Jaws is the brainchild of Maui boy and progressive big wave extraordinaire Ian Walsh. “I was just imagining what it could do for the level of riding big waves, and it seemed like over the last few years there’s a really substantial swell somewhere around the world that resets the bar and progression of what guys are capable of doing in big waves,” he said. “It seems like now is the right time for a contest like this.”
A panel of Red Bull’s big wave gurus selected the 21 competitors based on recent performances in waves akin to the magnitude of Jaws; a demonstrated willingness to amplify the level of big wave surfing; and career experience in riding big waves both freely and competitively. The event period for Red Bull Jaws coincides with another famous Hawaii big wave event, the Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau Contest on Oahu. Organizers ensure that condition requirements to run each event are very unique and should not conflict with one another.
“When the swell direction is 330 degrees or above, Jaws will often be double the size of Waimea due to the swell direction,” said competition director Mike Parsons. While invitee names are yet to be released, as surfers receive and accept their invitations to compete in the event, their names and information will be made live on the official even website Redbullusa.com/jaws.
Fans can also catch the Red Bull Jaws Paddle at Pe‘ahi Special airing nationally on NBC June 9, 2013 as part the “Red Bull Signature Series,” which features the most progressive display of bladder betraying surfing, snowboarding, mountain biking, freestyle motocross, skiing and BMX.
There’s more info at Redbullusa.com.