Occupy Peahi - Paddlers in, PWCs out

Alex Dick-Read

This was an historic day for Jaws surfing. Welcome to the paddle realm!
The paddle thing had been dabbled with before last year – SA charger Chris Bertish did it for the first time back in the early ’00s – but at the end of last season Shane Dorian and Ian Walsh had a memorable session that lit a fire in the big-wave paddle world.
This year, on the first proper Jaw day of the season, big wave paddlers gathered at Peahi after extensive invites were sent out from the Maui crew to basically Occupy Peahi. With a crowd of 25-plus paddle surfers the message came across loud and clear: ‘Peahi is now a paddle wave, too. PWCs please respect that’.
From what we can tell it wasn’t, like, a bad vibes thing. Most tow-surfers are expert enough to respect paddlers, and let’s not forget, those PWCs were buzzing around rescuing paddlers who got into trouble. But it was a statement nonetheless:
The world’s ballsiest paddlers have a new realm to play in, and one heck of a realm it is, too.

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