22 September, 2016 22 September, 2016

Throwback Thursday – Super Size Edition

Keen to see what super-sized shredding looked like a decade ago? This week’s Throwback Thursday takes us back to the jaws of some killer waves which still leave us gasping… ten years later. In an October 2006 feature story, Zigzag covered a massive swell that rocked various parts of the globe. We questioned the sanity of chargers like Dave Smith, Twiggy, Greg Long, Marty Pardisis and Tahiti’s Manoa Drollot then – and we still question it today… Get the back stories from that ‘Filthy Friday’ and the renowned ’06 swell (which landed the morning-after a massive Red Bull party) and helped put SA big wave surfing on the map – paving the way for current big wave comps like the Striped Horse Challenge presented by RVCA and Hurricane Surf. We wonder if the surfers remember the babalaas better than the bombs?


Dave Smith making the most of a historical session at dungeons. © AVG

This swell was an unexpected surprise for the collection of big wave surfers who were still struggling after a massive Red Bull party the night before. However, a swell like this could not be ignored and all the chargers made it out there in various stages of disrepair. Dave Smith reckoned he couldn’t manage surf even if he wanted to, but the above image proves there must have been some left over liquid courage in his veins. The swell became a weekend long affair that helped to put SA big wave surfing on the map.


Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker on a beast with previous Striped Horse Challenge winner, Andy Marr, in the sequence below. © Bootsma 

The Sunday saw a huge and rather unforgiving swell exploding in the Dungeons cauldron with massive, shifty and fast peaks. Not that that stopped some of the craziest and bravest surfers from having a go. This Sunday session pushed the limits and had it all – gnarly wipeouts, big barrels and snarling dragons.


Greg Long on what was, at the time, the biggest and heaviest wave of his life. © Johnson

Californian, Greg Long, just so happened to be on an extended trip in South Africa when it was all going down. “Towards the afternoon, every single wave just got bigger and bigger,” Greg said. “We weren’t just surfing it anymore, this was more survival… but like you do in tow surfing, we just kept pushing it.”


Manoa Drollet… gnarly brah. © Mckenna

Whilst Dungeons was going ape, another monumental session was going down on the other side of the world. The largest swell of the year rocked the South Pacific. While the Saffas were charging, Tahitian Manoa Drollet was having a go at another title for the biggest wave ever ridden at Teahupoo.


Marty Pardisis in a barrel with a lip as thick as he is tall. © Chisholm.

Things were also blowing up in Tasmania too. Whilst local charger Marty Pardisis was weaving to make it out alive on a bomb at Shipstern, photographer Andy Chisholm was dangling his feet over a cliff to get this epic shot.



Brought to you by Vol.30 No.7 of Zigzag’s epic archives. © AVG

*Enter your big wave moments into South Africa’s current big wave surf comp, The Striped Horse Challenge HERE.

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