By Corinne Evans
Whether you’ve only just got into surfing or you’ve been surfing all your life. You will have a moment, a memory in your surfing timeline that makes you feel utterly awesome. A memory of a wave or a surf that will keep you smiling for an eternity. These are the moments that keep your surf stoke alive.
I have a moment in my 13+ years of surfing that when I reminisce about it takes me right back to that very moment. With the sun starting to set on a perfect right hander somewhere in the Indian Ocean. The water felt like silk, with not a breath of wind. I remember seeing this wave come towards me, a perfect 3ft peak. In the right spot I turn to go, with my arms gliding effortlessly through the smooth, warm water. As I dropped down the face with excitement. For the duration of the wave I didn’t worrying about what I did, I just let it all come naturally. I went from top to bottom, carving my wave through the wall of utter perfection. Everything was in sync, at no point did I catch my rail or get caught on a turn. Moments like this don’t happen that often for me, I usually over think my waves and mess things up but on this wave my mind felt clear. Maybe it was the end of day, the fact that no cameras where on me, or that in the back of my mind I knew I would be flying back home the next day. But as I paddled back to the line up, I looked around at the familiar faces, all beautifully lit but the rose gold sunset and I knew I would cherish this moment forever.
I love hearing about peoples surfs and listening to them tell me the story of the best wave they have ever caught. So I asked Rochelle Ballard (a ex World Tour surfer), Hayley Shaw-McGuiness (a happy go lucky free surfer) and Cash Hoover, (a 8 year old beginner her surfing journey), to tell me about the best way they have ever caught. And here is what they had to say.
Name: Rochelle Ballard | Years Surfing: 36
Thats a tough one, I would have to say a tie between HT’s in the Mentawai’s late evening on the OP Boat trip challenge in 2001. I pulled into a double over head barrel and traveled from the top all the way through to the inside and got spat out. A few of the boys were there watching as the last couple waves of the day were being ridden until we pulled away to anchor for the evening. It was an amazing crew and trip. They took the top 6 men and top 4 women in the Surfer Poll Magazine winners on a specialty boat trip that OP and Surfer Magazine sponsored. It was an amazing experience surfing with a select few of the best in the world, competing and free surfing in some of the best waves on the planet and sharing fun times together, pushing the bar! The other best wave moment was at Micronesia’s P-Pass on a quick trip with Jamie O’Brian, Kawika Stillwell, and a couple friends from home. The waves were maxed out on the reef and draining barrels from top to bottom. Fastest and longest makable barrel I have ever surfed on a trip. Jamie really showed me how to drive deep and fast in the barrel. I have never pumped so much in a barrel to find myself coming out of the longest draining barrel of my life! So amazing! Made me feel so blessed to have that experience, humbled and grateful.
Name: Hayley Shaw – McGuinness | Years Surfing: 10
This is super hard to answer AS I AM EASILY stokeable and every wave I get is usually the BEST wave ever! However It would be probably be the first wave I got on a longboard at the Pass in Byron. It was such a long wave and I think I just stood there and smiled, it felt like it went on forever! It would be that or any party wave I get as I am a sucker for a party wave. Sharing a wave with a friend just adds double the stoke! We usually end the party waves with a high ten, YMCA, Coffin or equally silly move that leaves us feeling like we are the funniest humans on the planet.
Cash Hoover | Years surfing: 4 years
Best wave I ever caught was at Kewalos (South Side). I dropped in on a monster bomb set wave, stuck my bottom turn and blasted out! I was scared out of my mind but it was amazing!