Story & Photos John Carter
During the big-wave winter season on Maui, fierce storms off the eastern coast of Japan and south of Alaska’s Aleutian islands radiate pulses of energy from over 3000 miles away across the Pacific until they hit the distant shores of the Hawai’ian chain.
(This feature originally appeared in the August 2013 issue of Windsurf Magazine. Print and digital subscriptions for readers worldwide are available HERE.)
Usually this process is game over come April, when spring brings more reliable trade winds and smaller swells. Breaks like Peahi, (a.k.a Jaws), will normally hibernate all summer, leaving big-wave addicts to hunt elsewhere for their adrenaline fixes.
But in early April 2013, a rare late-season swell blipped onto the radar with a solid 3.6m at a 16-sec period forecast – by no means the biggest swell Hawaii can produce, but most likely enough to trigger Jaws to light up. John Carter was lucky enough to be on Maui to witness the occasion and, with the help of the riders involved, brings us the story from a memorable day.