North Pacific Megastorm Brings Jaws Roaring to Life
by Chris Dixon
Shane Dorian Running for the Door. Screen Grab from Take Shelter Productions.
So do you remember the hype last week about the North Pacific storm of the millenium? Well most of the wind energy from that barometric bomb went off within in the confines of the Bering Sea and was directed towards – and inside of – Alaska’s Aleutian islands. Thanks to those islands, the huge waves that the remnants of ex-typhoon Nuri generated, didn’t make it down into the open Pacific. Yet there was still plenty of heavy wind south of the Aleutian Islands too, and that wind still managed to generate a very, very healthy swell in the North Pacific Ocean. Over the last few days, those swells swept thousands of miles south and bore down on Hawaii. On Wednesday, they reached Maui’s famed Peahi (aka Jaws), with awe-inspiring results.
Satellite View from November 8. Image: NOAA.
In the below video from Take Shelter Productions, we see a group of human beings – Shane Dorian, Grant “Twiggy” Baker, Albee Layer and Matt Meola at the absolute top of their physical game. Paddling into, and navigating a wave sweeping out of deep ocean at 40 miles an hour onto Peahi’s reef, and then scratching into it with bare hands, or in the case of Kai Lenny, with a standup paddle, is an incredible feat. Negotiating what comes next, a turbulent, choppy wall of energy while moving at a combined speed of both the wave and your downhill slide of maybe 45 or 50 miles an hour, is superhuman.
Imagine standing on the top of a rollercoaster, on a skateboard, with an avalanche chasing you – and maybe you get the picture. — CD