“The Lethal Slow Motion of all Deadly Things.” Caught Inside – On Camera – at Todos Santos.

by Chris Dixon

Taz Knight – Breathing Hard, Screen Grab from a Nightmare.

On February 5, 1987, a young pro surfer named Dave Parmenter traveled with a team of fellow surfers and photographers to a newly discovered big wave spot. The northern Island of Mexico’s Islas Todos Santos had been known about by surfers for years, but its potential as a world-class big wave was only now being revealed. There were reasons for this. Todos was, nasty, scary and cold – its urchin-scoured reef reachable only by way of a scary 45-minute trek from Ensenada aboard the rickety panga of a Mexican fisherman. In short, up to the mid-80’s, nobody had been out there at just the right moment – and lived to tell the tale.

Dave Parmenter was not only a world-class surfer, but a world-class scribe. Here’s how he described the day’s first Todos hold-down for Surfing magazine. “Missing a wave, I wheeled around to find my companions clawing for the horizon. I went over another, smaller wave, and then suddenly in front of me was a malevolent hillock of water surely sent from the bowels of hell. It was a no-win situation. I didn’t know which way to paddle. Easily five times my height, the wave felt bottom, skidded, and vaulted into the lethal slow motion of all deadly things. I felt like I was in the throes of a nightmare.”

As you can see from the below, first person video of young British surfer Taz Knight, not much has changed when you’re caught inside at Todos Santos. Simply put, this is some scary shit – made even scarier when you realize he appears to be wearing his GoPro on his head. Which is a terrible idea when you’re about to wear 100 tons of force on your neck. Watch it in HD, with the volume turned up, and experience Taz’s heavy breathing, panicked paddling, and underwater screaming as he’s driven 25 feet down from the comfort of your easy chair. Then enjoy Taz’s ebullient blog, as he makes his first solo journey down the Mexican coastline.

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