Watch: Peter Mel barreled at Mavericks

Ben Matson
Reels

A furious paddle. Momentarily caught in the lip. Then over the ledge as the wave stands tall, starting to square. Negotiating a mid-face bump, a tight line is drawn just inside the guillotining lip as a cavern opens up in front. Standing tall inside one of the best big-wave paddled-barrels ever ridden. A casual exit to the shoulder.

Pete Mel, that's the stuff.

Comments

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 7:19am

Ironic that it's the kind of wave I'd love to have Pete Mel commentating on, too.

andy-mac's picture
andy-mac's picture
andy-mac commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 7:33am

Not bad for an old bloke!
Epic....

Botak

tiger's picture
tiger's picture
tiger commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 7:54am

Epic, his reaction says it all really.

Brian from Brissy's picture
Brian from Brissy's picture
Brian from Brissy commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 7:56am

Is there a filmed from shore angle? I'd love to hear Joe Turpel alongside former worldchamp Martin Potter comment on that" "Checking all the boxes potts; speed, power and flow", "yeah joey, clean exit and his board dissapeared from shore, the judges are going to love that"...

drew.mcpherson's picture
drew.mcpherson's picture
drew.mcpherson commented Monday, 11 Jan 2021 at 3:29pm

yeah there is a video from shore somewhere. its epic - he was actually really deep.

Heavyjuice's picture
Heavyjuice's picture
Heavyjuice commented Wednesday, 13 Jan 2021 at 11:15am

Except Turpel would have said something about the "inside corner" and Pottz would have said "ya know" about 50 times.

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Wednesday, 13 Jan 2021 at 11:41am

Pottz would have referred to Pete Mel as "This Kid".

Howie66's picture
Howie66's picture
Howie66 commented Wednesday, 13 Jan 2021 at 12:07pm

Really throwing caution to the wind Joe..

Dave Drinkwater's picture
Dave Drinkwater's picture
Dave Drinkwater commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 7:58am

51 years old and redefining the way Mavericks is surfed. Best paddle wave ever at Mavericks and the board holding the rail, seriously incredible stuff.

nextswell's picture
nextswell's picture
nextswell commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 8:35am

Surfed it like a 4/6ft wave. Nice long drop and into the barrel. Not at all impeded by the 10ft board. No ugly turns you usually see with such a big board. One of the best big waves I’ve ever seen.

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 8:50am

Congrats to Pete...seems he's one guy that's put in so much time out there for a long time. I didn't expect to wake up and see that this morning. Incredible. Loved the way the board held on that back inside rail. The way those big boards are shaped now is allowing some revolutionary approaches. Really amazing wave, and agree with above comment, his reaction says it all. Unbelievable.

regydogy's picture
regydogy's picture
regydogy commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 9:42am

sounds like a herd of cows in slow mo

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 3:49pm

...imagine if we sped up cow noises...

billie's picture
billie's picture
billie commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 4:38pm

Hahahaha

Billie

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 6:14pm

Thanks to you VJ i just went over to youtube and listened to cows mooing but sped up. Nup. They still sound like cows..just shorter moos!

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 6:24pm

Ah damn I knew somebody had already done this. There goes my youtube/insta channel getting millions of views and me becoming famous.

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 8:43pm

Haha. Sorry mate.

aussieguy's picture
aussieguy's picture
aussieguy commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 9:50am

So humble afterwards. Just a true champion in my opinion.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 10:00am

Watched this a few times since it dropped. I'm short on superlatives but that's probably the best wave I've ever seen paddled at Mav's.

1173

eat-your-vegies's picture
eat-your-vegies's picture
eat-your-vegies commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 10:41am

Barrel dodger

Joking

He’s 51 ?

Ballsy

Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 10:53am

51 young thats what its about.

drew.mcpherson's picture
drew.mcpherson's picture
drew.mcpherson commented Monday, 11 Jan 2021 at 3:30pm

you should see the video from shore. he was actually really deep in that barrel

Dan Zina's picture
Dan Zina's picture
Dan Zina commented Thursday, 14 Jan 2021 at 9:28pm

Got link?
Best shape of a Mavs wave I've seen yet. I didn't think it was possible to bet barrelled there...
Edit: Found it - https://www.instagram.com/p/CJznZEunpk4/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaig...

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Thursday, 14 Jan 2021 at 9:27pm

Scroll down page a bit

Major kong's picture
Major kong's picture
Major kong commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 11:29am

thats awesome. i still remember watching Gravity sucks on vhs the first time as a mid coast punk teenager and just amazed at the jaw dropping big wave paddle in surfing.. he got some good ones in that too... respect for still being stoked surfing the same wave.
nice fella when i met him in WA the night before the ASP margies contest kicked off .. me and a mate were pissed and looking around at the big fuckoff tent set up down at mainbreak and pete mel (with a few under his belt too) and a few crew wandered over and hung out , had a chat and a laugh ... surfed with him at windmills (?? i think that was the name of the place) on one of the laydays.. was enjoyin himself in smaller stuff too.

Major kong

Dan Zina's picture
Dan Zina's picture
Dan Zina commented Thursday, 14 Jan 2021 at 9:22pm

What a lord. Stoked he got the wave of the day!

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 11:38am

That's a chip in!

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 11:40am

Without ever being there it looks like the reason he got that probably best ever wave at Mavs was cause of where he caught it.

He looks waaaay deeper than the 'normal' take off spot and to have the guts and skill to make a wave of that size and dimensions from where he took off!

Fucken hellman and by the sounds of it a good humble bloke as well.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 12:02pm

Shit yeah. to be so deep and hold your position then put yourself over the ledge when so much could possibly go wrong- you're right, Hellman for sure.

1173

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 1:04pm

Where he caught it, swell size and period, new board technology and experience all combined into one perfect moment. People have tried to surf behind that peak for years and it just hasn't been possible with the boards they were riding - too big and heavy and way too much water moving incredibly and deceptively fast to reset the rail and turn up into the barrel. At the size and period of the swell it allowed a perfect chip in outside the bowl which if you watch the slow mo you see him weight and un-weight the inside rail absolutely perfectly on the drop.
Just for reference, I spoke to Curt Myers who shot the footage, early this morning and he said it was hands down the most incredible moment of surfing he's ever seen in 30+ years of filming Mavs. Every main guy who's surfed there over the years eg, Flea, Jeff Clark, Skindog, Matt Ambrose, Ion Banner said its the best surfed paddle wave ever out there.

I'm not cheap,
But I'm free.

radiationrules's picture
radiationrules's picture
radiationrules commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 12:11pm

...his gutsy transition moments at that the base of that wave..inspirational..im going harder this week...

rooftop's picture
rooftop's picture
rooftop commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 12:38pm

Man, that was some profound and inspirational surfing. He seems to be in shock afterwards, and why wouldn't you be. Decades of devotion culminating in 20 seconds of sublime mastery.

I was just rereading Ghost Wave, the story of the Cortes Bank missions, and it's worth noting that around the turn of the century Pete Mel was badly addicted to meth and other drugs, and fought long and hard to come clean. He made it through with the support of friends and his wife Tara. What a story!

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 12:47pm

That’s one wave that slo-mo does it justice.
Watching his line into that thing is amazing.
Fkn incredible wave

belly's picture
belly's picture
belly commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 1:10pm

I counted 5 bump negotiations just to get to the bottom..

Sickaz's picture
Sickaz's picture
Sickaz commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 1:57pm

The take off and edge work down the face is as good as the barrel for me. So good to see guys his age ruling in the big stuff.

Ardy's picture
Ardy's picture
Ardy commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 2:59pm

Old guys rule

Rusty Forest's picture
Rusty Forest's picture
Rusty Forest commented Monday, 11 Jan 2021 at 8:07pm

I loath that phrase and the wearers of the t shirt.

Rusty

Ardy's picture
Ardy's picture
Ardy commented Monday, 11 Jan 2021 at 9:21pm

Don’t own a shirt but I’m 52

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Monday, 11 Jan 2021 at 9:34pm

You rule Andy!

Edit: Whoops Ardy, confused you with Andy.

But I'll stand by my original comment.

1173

Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake commented Friday, 15 Jan 2021 at 10:52am

With ya there Ardy... now, where can I buy a t-shirt

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 3:50pm

That was quite incredible, where he paddled in, how he negotiated those last couple of little steps into the bowl. Great stuff Pete Mel.

Anyone remember him paddling into Nazarre and also commentating on a 20ft day?

And a design breakdown on what is going into these boards would be a great article if you can arrange it, Stu.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 7:09pm

pearson arrow .

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Monday, 11 Jan 2021 at 2:10pm

VJ- one of these beauties im guessing
https://www.instagram.com/p/CFa2aHzggcf/

edit: was the 9'10 -https://www.instagram.com/p/CJ1PIC1n2y6/

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 12 Jan 2021 at 5:28pm

Thanks LD and udo, good links. He was running it as a quad with 3.75" fins - it's that small quad thing that's going on in guns.

I'm not a huge quad guy but when running one of my short wide down railed boards with quads, swapping out to all little fins really made a -good- difference to the board.

Ash's picture
Ash's picture
Ash commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 4:04pm

For a big wave the face is immaculately smooth, that's one he'll never forget.
Whoever said the slow mo sounds like a herd of cattle, I agree, mutant zombie cattle.

SI's picture
SI's picture
SI commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 4:40pm

Sure does sound like a herd of cattle. Especially those saying he is barrelled. He never at any point on the wave gets behind the curtain. I’ve watched it over and over because of the “barrel” claims, but just couldn’t see him behind the curtain at all on any part of the wave. That said, he was in an awesome spot on that wave and it was an amazing ride. If anything had gone wrong, it would have been a solid pounding. I’m not sure how it works with hype. It’s like, if one person starts hooting and raving about the “barrel”, others jump on board.

Barrelrider

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 4:46pm

Eh?

SI's picture
SI's picture
SI commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 5:22pm

Don’t get me wrong, I reckon he rode that wave brilliantly. It’s just that I think exaggerated claims rob things of their true awesomeness. There’s no need to exaggerate anything about what happened between that wave and that surfer. It was awesome.

Barrelrider

dean maddison's picture
dean maddison's picture
dean maddison commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 6:18pm

There is always someone ,isn't there. Front view would prove you wrong. Jamie Mitchell would have a fair idea, but you talk it down legend.

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 6:46pm

There's a vid of the front view. All you see is him coming out with the spit.

Tick's picture
Tick's picture
Tick commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 7:00pm

Surfline insta for front view.

seaslug's picture
seaslug's picture
seaslug commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 8:35pm

SI wins the flog award for the day

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 7:02pm
dan@shoreline's picture
dan@shoreline's picture
[email protected] commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 8:27pm

Yep, pretty deep too by the looks

andy-mac's picture
andy-mac's picture
andy-mac commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 8:44pm

Reckon you could safely say he got barreled!!!!

Botak

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 8:45pm

Looks even crazier from land. How much that thing just ledges out.

Pops's picture
Pops's picture
Pops commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 10:15pm

Yeah reckon he mighta just squeezed into it ...

Far out what a wave.

He who hesitates is lost

OHBILLY's picture
OHBILLY's picture
OHBILLY commented Wednesday, 13 Jan 2021 at 11:00am
billie's picture
billie's picture
billie commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 4:47pm

After listening to the whole interview with Jamie Mitchell last week, I judge that last epic swell as key to him learning how to take off on that outside peak. So rare they aid, for it to allow paddlers the opportunity to chip-in from there. However, ten hours of practice last week and boomshuka!

Billie

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 6:02pm

Wow, incredible ride, and knifing in like that from so deep, gusty and insane equipment.

andy-mac's picture
andy-mac's picture
andy-mac commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 6:30pm

Have watched a number of times and reckon gets better each view. Incredible stuff.
Geez hope there is some other footage from a different angel...
Inspirational stuff for 51!

Botak

tiger's picture
tiger's picture
tiger commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 6:37pm

Similar to jaws, that ride will break the ceiling and we'll start to see more paddle in barrel rides at mavs. Remember when jaws was considered un-paddleable, and it's only been the past few years that guys are getting kegged out there consistently. Floatation and designated water safety helped speed up the evolution there and will also at mavs. Especially given the strong focus on mavs ATM, and the young guys like Kai Lenny, chumbo etc putting time in there. A couple of primo swells with good conditions also led to it, the opportunity has been there and it isn't always like that. I echo the sentiments of others here who've crossed paths with Mel, he is a true gentleman and deserves that unicorn of a wave more than anyone.

Standingleft's picture
Standingleft's picture
Standingleft commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 7:24pm

Right man with right read on the ocean he's in the right place he's got the right equipment, he's got the right moves and executes it perfectly. The cameraman didn't f it up either. What's not to love. Legendary

D-Rex's picture
D-Rex's picture
D-Rex commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 7:29pm

A different angel, a-m? Not sure they have the technology.

Roker's picture
Roker's picture
Roker commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 7:49pm

The drop(s) in slo-mo? Holy buckets! I think that big ol’ board went weightless three times. And the ledge before the black hole at the bottom? Terrifying. Chapeau Pete Mel.

I agree with Joe and Pottz. That was both the best wave in surfing ever and totally farked up.

nextswell's picture
nextswell's picture
nextswell commented Sunday, 10 Jan 2021 at 8:05pm

That front view shuts up the nay sayers. What I liked about Mel’s wave was that it could be 6ft Backdoor and it wouldn’t have been surfed any different.

Roadkill's picture
Roadkill's picture
Roadkill commented Monday, 11 Jan 2021 at 7:50am

Could not happen to a nicer guy. I’ve spoken to him on 2 occasions and he is always super engaging.

spaceman's picture
spaceman's picture
spaceman commented Monday, 11 Jan 2021 at 10:01am

Pinnacle of surfing right there!

lindo's picture
lindo's picture
lindo commented Monday, 11 Jan 2021 at 2:28pm

That'll be hard to beat for ride of the year, tube of the year, and whatever other gongs get given these days in the XXL wave awards. How good was it that he completed the wave, traveling for what seemed like another 20 or more metres out into the flats before just sitting back down on his board? That's a wave as well surfed as any I've seen, and in some respects is also reminiscent, on a much grander scale (XXL vs XL perhaps), of that one so well ridden through the Deadmans barrel at Manly mid-last year. And also both beautifully filmed.

Lindo

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Monday, 11 Jan 2021 at 3:10pm

Wow! Another one.. but empty.

manic- mat -rider's picture
manic- mat -rider's picture
manic- mat -rider commented Monday, 11 Jan 2021 at 4:09pm

https://youtu.be/dfypLAHGOTw
Here's another front on view.
It's around the 41 minute mark

OHBILLY's picture
OHBILLY's picture
OHBILLY commented Wednesday, 13 Jan 2021 at 11:06am

Nah that's a different session all together.

It's from late December.

Yea, I get barrel

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Monday, 11 Jan 2021 at 4:17pm

Blue board ?

manic- mat -rider's picture
manic- mat -rider's picture
manic- mat -rider commented Monday, 11 Jan 2021 at 4:25pm

Different wave ! Thought it was the same wave.It's kind of similar.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Monday, 11 Jan 2021 at 5:00pm

Jeez, then there's this tow one with Pete. That big and clean, never seen?!

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 11 Jan 2021 at 5:02pm

Incredible. Two record breaking waves by one bloke at one wave, in just a few days?

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Monday, 11 Jan 2021 at 7:57pm

Imagine being caught inside and seeing that thing come down on you

_Bodhi_'s picture
_Bodhi_'s picture
_Bodhi_ commented Tuesday, 12 Jan 2021 at 2:58pm

Wow, that’s HUGE!!!! Peter’s paddle in wave was big & impressive, but it kind of looks small compared to this beast he’s charging...

Nah, edit: it’s still a big paddle in, maybe 10 or 12 x head high.

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Monday, 11 Jan 2021 at 7:52pm

Watch twigs wipeout from today trying to replicate the perfect chip in of Pete Mel.
Horror show.

I'm not cheap,
But I'm free.

OHBILLY's picture
OHBILLY's picture
OHBILLY commented Wednesday, 13 Jan 2021 at 11:02am

That was kinda scary to watch... I love Twiggy and was hoping that wasn't going to be his last wave.

Yea, I get barrel

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster commented Monday, 11 Jan 2021 at 7:55pm

Wouldn't you love to enjoy what Pete Mel's been feeling for the last couple of days!

Way better high than any drugs could give you Id imagine.

anthony.olsen's picture
anthony.olsen's picture
anthony.olsen commented Wednesday, 13 Jan 2021 at 12:06pm

The come down is probably just as hard or even harder though.

Imagine thinking what is next to try and re-capture that feeling. Would be keen to know if folks that charge like this, ever get to a point and say that was the one and then stop seeking.

shraz's picture
shraz's picture
shraz commented Wednesday, 13 Jan 2021 at 12:37pm

I reckon it gets to a point for most where size doesn't matter anymore. Quality and enjoyment is the go. Except for some guys. Till death.

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Saturday, 16 Jan 2021 at 10:29am

Greg Noll maybe? I remember reading after his Makaha wave he stopped surfing.

t-diddy's picture
t-diddy's picture
t-diddy commented Monday, 11 Jan 2021 at 8:46pm

means my best may still be coming!

Jono's picture
Jono's picture
Jono commented Tuesday, 12 Jan 2021 at 11:31am

Twiggy to Pete: "Hold my beer"

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by @jamy_donaldson_air

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Tuesday, 12 Jan 2021 at 3:12pm

Ian Walsh holding on
Those paddlers got hammered - https://www.instagram.com/p/CJlhczXjGvb/

maddogmorley's picture
maddogmorley's picture
maddogmorley commented Tuesday, 12 Jan 2021 at 6:48pm
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Tuesday, 12 Jan 2021 at 6:51pm

Twiggy trying to take off on the bowl that Pete Mel backdoored. Ouch!

evosurfer's picture
evosurfer's picture
evosurfer commented Tuesday, 12 Jan 2021 at 9:44pm

Wave of the winter.BOOM

IF im not surfing im racing

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Wednesday, 13 Jan 2021 at 7:01am

yep and probably wave of the century

simba

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Wednesday, 13 Jan 2021 at 12:19pm
Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Wednesday, 13 Jan 2021 at 12:23pm

Haha, what the! re Chuck.

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink commented Thursday, 14 Jan 2021 at 9:39am

Amazing. Was thinking why are they so rubbered up at Maui, and finally clicked that it is at Mavs. That wave, shifting peak and angle looks so much harder to ride than Jaws even. Would be super scary to sit so wide waiting for one and seeing that damn thing coming. The lip misses him by about a metre as he pulls under the bottom turn. The difference between a severe crunching and a euphoric rush. ( an euphoric, a euphoric? Couldn’t decide so went with what sounded better. :-) )

Patrick's picture
Patrick's picture
Patrick commented Thursday, 14 Jan 2021 at 9:49pm

A crunching might've sent him to an hospital.

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink commented Saturday, 16 Jan 2021 at 9:46am

Yeah, he would have come back about 4’11” tall after it crushed him, so glad to not see a lip coming down on him or anyone else as far as I’ve seen.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 15 Jan 2021 at 10:26am

One more angle, not the best vision but plenty of channel camaraderie: