In order to chase a swell one has to be willing to sacrifice everything. This last swell at Cloubreak was worth every sacrifice in the world to me. Although not as big as the infamous Volcom Fiji Pro swell, it stacked up equally in other ways.
It was a rare swell in that only a handful of guys hit it as a strike mission. There were only 10 guys out, with at least five waves in every set. Joel Parkinson and Kelly Slater were there as freesurfers and friends, taking a break from the ratings. They are currently number one and number two in the world. For six straight hours we all laughed like kids in a candy store. The morning was unorganized with 12-foot sets washing through. Those hurt and can put a damper on your day by breaking your leash or board. Although, every 30 minutes the conditions got better as the tide dropped until it was sheet glass without a breath of wind. At that moment the swell peaked, and barrels were traded until we couldn't paddle anymore.
I will never forget kicking out of a wave to then watch Kelly and Parko get blown out of back-to-back 10-footers. It was a joke. Jon Roseman graced the lineup with his signature red board and put on a clinic. Parko did the best to avoid the wash-throughs and got multiple "waves of the day." Kelly could surf Cloubreak blind. He is too comftorable out there. It's amazing that someone from Florida can make the most challenging wave in the world look easy. I guess that's what happens when you are the greatest athlete of all time though.
To me there is no better feeling than sharing perfect freight training barrels with your friends. From the world's best surfers, to the boatman, to visiting countrymen, everyone out in the lineup that day couldn't be happier to be in the right place at the right time. It was a day you dream about surfing at Cloudbreak. Best part was, we all got to head back to Tavarua (the greatest surf resort on earth) for lunch, sun burned and satisfied. Only question now: When are we going back?