IF YOU’RE NOT SURE why this is a big deal, think about it this way: picture yourself blazing down a massive half-pipe on a skateboard. Regular-style, standing up. Now, imagine doing that while lying on your belly. Face inches from the ground. Or in this case, a massive, rushing, pounding liquid force of nature.
Bodyboarders don’t typically take on titanic waves like Jaws. In this video, bodyboarder Damien Boone sticks the first-ever successful drop-in on one of the most famous breaks in the world. Waves here have been said to reach up to 120 feet, gushing in at over 30 miles per hour. Thing about that: a tower of water the size of a shopping mall coming in at the standard city speed limit, and you’re face-down, riding it the whole way.
The really big deal here is that Boone paddled into it the whole way. Previously, Mike Stewart managed a successful bodyboard at Jaws, but he was towed in via jetski. As you watch wave after humongous wave come in, see the other boarders fall over the crests, getting swept away. There’s a reason it’s taken this long for anyone to bodyboard in au naturale. Boone’s eventual success required skill, luck, and of course, the ever-important cojones.