Abandoned board ends Sebastian Steudtner's season

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

If you recall teen windsurfer Adam Warchol's recent Peahi wave, you may also remember the punter going over the falls at the end of the wave.

In the wake of that beating, people hashtagged @kookslams assuming old mate was a hapless learner getting his comeuppance for daring to paddle out at Peahi.

As it happened, Rafael Kroeff was an experienced surfer who, in his own words, made a mistake, playing with his tow straps and losing the rope when a wide set hit the reef. Yet instead of diving deep and ditching his board, whereupon the lip would launch it like an Exocet missile, Raf made a split-second decision to sacrifice himself and went over the falls in spectacular fashion.

Now, here's the opposite outcome: a surfer caught inside, as Raf was, but rather than gripping the board and sacrificing themselves they ditch the board, dive for safety and to hell with the consequences.

In this instance it's German surfer Sebastian Steudtner and the location was Nazare on a mid-size day.

"Two months ago my season ended with a dislocated clavicular, fractured ribs, and torn muscles in my neck and chest.

"I was dropping into a wave setting up my line, saw a friend of @maya paddling out and thought I’m gonna go around him and give him space. He jumped of his board to dive under the wave, shooting the board right in my direction as I passed him.

"My right arm prevented damage to my face but redirected all the force to my chest."

"All preparation ahead of the season for nothing. I had to go into months of physio therapy and painful work."

From reports, the surfer who ditched the board got through the wave unscathed.

Comments

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 9:43am

Oh HEAVY. Far out, I fully recoiled away from the monitor as the board shot out.

Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68 commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 9:50am

Wow! Imagine if that board had collected his face. Gnarly! Super lucky in the end.

Pristine

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 9:58am

Of course he’s holding a GoPro. Can’t tow surf a mid sized day at Nazare without one

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 10:03am

What kind of retard ditches a board like that?

joesydney's picture
joesydney's picture
joesydney commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 10:50am

Equally so who tows through the middle of the lineup when guys are paddling.....(unless you are in the Goldie and it's over 4ft.....)

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 10:57am

Replying to a social media question on the incident: "So what should the surfer have done?"

I'm assuming the question was asked in good faith so I'll reply in kind.

For starters, as much as possible, paddlers, especially learner paddlers, should skirt around the lineup so incidents like this don't happen.

In beachbreaks, however, this isn't always possible as the lineup can be random. Getting caught inside while a person is on a wave is a very real possibility.

If you get an early read on what's unfolding then head to the inside - i.e the opposite direction to the way the surfer is travelling - and take the wave on the head.

If you miss the opoprtunity to be proactive and get caught like the surfer in the video then it's crucial the paddler holds onto their board. Either duckdive (even if it's too big to do so, just take the underwater somersaults in your stride) or turtle roll with your hands firmly gripping the rails.

My own judgement tells me a turtle roll was the best course of action in the above video. 

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 11:05am

To me it looks like he tried to stand up on his board to dive off, and in doing so inadvertently flung it back to the incoming surfer as the buoyancy kicked in (can see it in this frame, he's standing more towards the nose, so the board has rocketed upwards, tail-first).

If he'd just swum to the bottom and left the board there to cop it, the board would have gone over the falls - but probably after Sebastian had flown by (I reckon that's what Seb was anticipating).

Of course, duckdiving would have been a better option. Curious on the size.. wonder if there's a land based photo/video?

theblacksheep's picture
theblacksheep's picture
theblacksheep commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 11:05am

You can see he stood up on his board to dive off which is what caused it to flick up. A bit of a panic move really and doesnt normally achieve a better outcome. He should have at least just rolled off and sunk if a surfer is closing in.

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 11:19am

When I first saw it, I thought bloody kook for ditching his board.

On second thoughts, it's Nazare (so probably bigger than it looks on the GoPro footage), and the guy is on a big board, and Seb Steudtner could (should?) probably have distanced himself a bit, given that he was on a towboard and had heaps of time.

Hard to say, though, when you don't have other footage than the GoPro.

Heavy, though. I flinched too.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 12:35pm

I agree IB

I reckon old Seb has got himself to blame here.
Its probably at least a 9 foot board, so no duck diving.
Seb would of been hooting along and seen the paddler from a long way off so should of either taken the high line or given him a wider berth.
Not the paddlers fault imo

Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 11:27am

Be great to see this from the land angle, just to get some other context too. It's easy to write ol paddler/jumper mate off for his regrettable decision, but shit escalates pretty quick hey, there but for the grace of god, etc... Though re-watching a few times makes one less inclined to be charitable.

lost's picture
lost's picture
lost commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 11:24am

I'm a bit confused because in most big wave footage i see most surfers ditching their boards and diving under, often standing up on their board first. I've also seen plenty of board ditching by pros at place like pipe. Given its Nazare I had assumed its big but maybe not ? Does it break at a size that duck dving is normal ?

knB

wiseautogas's picture
wiseautogas's picture
wiseautogas commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 11:25am

never, never try to paddle over a wave when a riders trajectory is aimed towards you, default is, paddle to the inside and just take it on the head

john wise

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 11:31am

Yep, and we all know that.

The thing is, the paddler can't adjust his line much on a huge canvas like that, but the tow surfer can - possibly easily.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 1:09pm

Yeah, nah...if the board hadn't have flicked out, if the paddler simply slipped off it and dove - which I assume is what SS expected - then there'd be no harm.

Lots of speculation of course, but the paddler has chosen the very worst way to deal with the incident.

To my mind, you might expect that at Bondi or Manly, but not at somewhere like Nazare.

northeasterly's picture
northeasterly's picture
northeasterly commented Wednesday, 3 Feb 2021 at 9:22am

A paddler choosing the worst way to deal with a situation is exactly what happens at Bondi all the time. And usually without any kind of apology.

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 8:08am

It is not a "never, never" rule. Sometimes the rider has seen your paddle line and has a plan and if you (particularly last minute) redirect to go inside it can make things worse. In this case the paddler should have kept his line predictable and kept steaming toward the wave maximising the space for the rider to go around and giving no surprises.

Frogg

wiseautogas's picture
wiseautogas's picture
wiseautogas commented Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 12:27pm

good point, i guess the riders skill level has a lot to do with that, you really have to be proactive early if you change direction.

john wise

Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68 commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 11:39am

"and Seb Steudtner could (should?) probably have distanced himself a bit, given that he was on a towboard and had heaps of time." IB

That was my thought too. Did the tow surfer really need to get so close to the paddle surfer, regardless of whether the paddle surfer was going to ditch, roll, duck dive etc? Was his line that critical? A wider view as suggested may tell the story. Even if it was critical, sometimes you've just got to let the wave go for the sake of potentially injuring someone, then have a chat after the event.

Pristine

Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 12:04pm

Just off topic but why wait 2 months to release? No criticism, just curious...

I am the bone

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 12:19pm

The tow surfer had a line to miss the paddler but was going a bit closer than needed. The board shooting out whilst clear of the breaking wave was a very unusual situation - can't remember that before. For paddlers making way for a surfer on the wave, a predictable line is important. it is not always to paddle to the inside. Sudden changes in direction or momentum that make no sense / surprise can be dangerous. The sacrifice option in this case was to just keep paddling forward at full speed and deal with the consequences with whatever bail option you can manage once the surfer is past you.

Frogg

The Shaper's picture
The Shaper's picture
The Shaper commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 12:50pm

Totally scary stuff. I know this digresses a little but
the conversation does set a platform for dialogue on the issue of learner to lower/intermediate (sorry for the classification) surfers; who have generally come through surf schools. We see them every day and unfortunately are forced to work around them because they are super dangerous in active conditions and have zero understanding that they need to be "out of the way" . The surf schools seem to be great at taking the money and teaching the basics, but seem to have omitted the safety factors when surfing with others in active lineups. Can some one please tell them to teach people how to paddle around the impact zone out of the way of those taking off! Or just take one on the head. Basic anticipation skills are needed in this sport if not for the consideration of those catching a wave they may waited for for ages, then to avoid serious collision and possible injury.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 1:00pm

FWIW, my kids did the Surf Groms thing over summer and it was a small part of their course. Obviously, it's difficult for them (especially at such a young age, and with minimal experience) to visualise how this situation might actually evolve in the surf - and how to respond in a timely manner - but I think it's worth clarifying that as far as I have seen, surf schools do seem to teach a safety aspect.

The Shaper's picture
The Shaper's picture
The Shaper commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 4:35pm

Hi Ben, I would imagine duty of care would require certain elements of safety at all surf schools, but what seems to be missing at least with the older groups is managing themselves in the line up.

So did they teach your kids to stay out of the peel zone when paddling out to allow space for people actually on or about to catch a wave?

I would be sure the vast majority of these readers regularly encounter people who just have no clue. I certainly do. I make the connection to surf schools because most of these people start there......something needs a tweak..........

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 4:58pm

Yeah they were told where to paddle etc, but it's pretty hard to contain frothing grommets who still don't appreciate where/why/who etc. Let alone older beginners with, ahem, 'confidence' - because they're successful at another sport, and 'how hard can surfing be' etc.

Sometimes - and this ain't just in surfing - you gotta learn the hard way.

Preferably when I'm not around though.

The Shaper's picture
The Shaper's picture
The Shaper commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 5:05pm

hats off to you Ben and all the other blokes out there trying to contain frothing grommets................

wbat's picture
wbat's picture
wbat commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 1:25pm

No. I think the surfer had every right to take that line. If the goose hadn't flicked his board up absolutely no issue. The surfer was in control and missing the paddler.

What a goose.

bipola's picture
bipola's picture
bipola commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 1:46pm

i think he deliberately shot his board at the tow in

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 5:21pm

I agree.. bulls eye.

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 5:38pm

That's the only explanation I can see being rational, otherwise, he'd simply get off his board and swim down.... Maybe it was supposed to be a warning shot, but forgot he had real bullets??

Jamyardy's picture
Jamyardy's picture
Jamyardy commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 1:51pm

Must have been a strong offshore to lift the board like that especially given the volume of the paddle boards these days. More reason for tow and paddle guys to separate on the big days. Even the wind surfers at that last big jaws swell were complaining about the skis buzzing around. A bit like dropping in, and priority in the lineup, there should be some clear unwritten rules on water craft in the lineups on big days (East coast appears to have problems even on small days I think), something like unassisted (body), paddle power, wind assisted, motorised assisted. Unfortunate event in any case. I don't imagine Maya is considered to be in the learner group, I see some crew stand on their boards to dive in to get depth, most don't bother.

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 1:57pm

My two bobs worth is he chose to get too close to the paddle surfer to maximise his line further down the wave. How many times do you see that? Lots is the answer. Besides, paddle surfers at that sort of wave should get the benefit of the doubt as a matter of principle!

Mitchrusscoop's picture
Mitchrusscoop's picture
Mitchrusscoop commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 2:24pm

about two months ago now in December. I was surfing South Side in Margaret River and this guy bailed his performance long board on a 6ft set. His leg rope snapped and the board flew into the hair and landed on my leg, consequently fracturing my fibula. I have been out of action since.

juegasiempre's picture
juegasiempre's picture
juegasiempre commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 3:46pm

:O Fuck! Get better soon.

I had a chick shoot her longboard into me through the wave I was riding and it hit me in the arm but it was a 1-2ft day. Gave me the biggest fright but I got out of it with a bruised arm and she got away with a verbal spray. Longboards have a bit of heft behind them with all that glass and foam! Wish they would ride a shortboard or if they can't, a foamie.

aussieguy's picture
aussieguy's picture
aussieguy commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 3:57pm

Hey Mitch - wishing you a successful recovery. Did the guy even know what had happened to you?

Mitchrusscoop's picture
Mitchrusscoop's picture
Mitchrusscoop commented Wednesday, 3 Feb 2021 at 2:53pm

Thanks. He blatantly paddled by me and said 'its going to hurt me swimming in, more than it will hurt you". Then watched me crawl up the reef. I yelled at him for help. He came over for a lift up the stairs with the help of a friend. Told me he owes me a beer and left! Outrageous.

aussieguy's picture
aussieguy's picture
aussieguy commented Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 7:58am

What a low life. He may not have known initially the extent of your injury and just thought you'd be able to shake if off and be back out in the line up. Obviously not! That uncaring attitude is outrageous and a poor reflection on what type of person they must be. Focus on your recovery and rehab and before you know it you'll be back out there. Cheers.

Godarren's picture
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Godarren commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 2:25pm

I don't have an opinion.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 2:31pm

How dare you!

scroty's picture
scroty's picture
scroty commented Wednesday, 3 Feb 2021 at 12:13pm

I don't even have an opinion on you not having an opinion.

wiseautogas's picture
wiseautogas's picture
wiseautogas commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 3:02pm

no matter who is at fault id rather take a wave on the head than have a fin split my skull open

john wise

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 3:36pm

I wonder whether the presence of the Go-Pro (fark, what a badly chosen name for something that causes such carnage - I'd like to suggest the base model be called Go-Kook) contributed toward the surfer taking a riskier line towards the paddler in pursuit of the money-shot? Certainly got his money's worth.

Sandro gia's picture
Sandro gia's picture
Sandro gia commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 3:43pm

To much foam and buoyancy to duck dive that board,unless your superman the surfer.

channel-bottom's picture
channel-bottom's picture
channel-bottom commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 3:55pm

While he should have taken more care with his board, if it's that big that towing is an option, Seb should be aware that paddlers may need to bail if caught inside.

Maybe they shouldn't tow when it's OK to paddle, like everywhere else.

campbell's picture
campbell's picture
campbell commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 4:28pm

Towing through paddling surfers is illegal in Aus and US maybe these Euros need to have a look at some regulation too. Regardless of that it can be very dangerous too , but usually more for the paddler than the tow boarder.
Just cause you maybe some kind of pro? surfer (not sure who this fella is but I'm guess he is) doesn't mean rules don't count, common sense even , same as the gold coast bullshit that goes on every swell you see here on SN.
Karma maybe for the German with the American accent and the headache?

...

Kellya's picture
Kellya's picture
Kellya commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 5:24pm

Definitely a Euro move by the tow guy.

rooftop's picture
rooftop's picture
rooftop commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 4:23pm

Seb's line would have been a safe one if that board hadn't jumped so unexpectedly. As Ben pointed out, it was the weird bail that sent it flying so far off course.

Crab Nebula's picture
Crab Nebula's picture
Crab Nebula commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 5:08pm

Oh man! That brought back some memories of fins hitting the head. This reminds me of the conversation I had with my old man following my first car crash. Despite it legally not being my fault the old boy said there's a thing called defensive driving. 'Pretend' everyone else on the road is an idiot...so beware! A lesson to be learnt on either side of the ledger?

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 5:25pm

It all happens so quick out there.

So as to compare with Mel, (may I?) A second either way.... fine line between pleasure or pain.

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 8:44pm

I'm actually siding with the guy that flung the board. For me, if I'm surfing a solid wave and someone's caught inside I'll generally give them a pretty wide berth; even if it means having to straighten out. When you're the one actually riding the wave you hold almost all the cards. Better you blow the wave than run into someone.

The general rule of thumb when caught inside is to head for the white water not the open face ie away from where the rider is headed. Sometimes though you just find yourself in an absolutely awful situation where no matter what you'll end up being in the way. Add a nine foot board that can't be duck dived then it's a farken' shit sandwich. I'll never give someone a hard time for making me straighten out in this situation. It's just something that happens from time to time. Like the weather it's something we can't do a lot about.

northeasterly's picture
northeasterly's picture
northeasterly commented Wednesday, 3 Feb 2021 at 9:37am

Agree.

But... standing on your board like that doesn't seem to give any advantage when trying to dive under a wave. It actually adds more variables that can go wrong for the paddler - slipping and ending up copping the full force of the wave, not actually floating but sinking the board and leaving the paddler to cop the full force of the wave etc. And that's whether there's a person on the wave or not.

If the paddler had just slipped off his board and started swimming under earlier he'd have been deeper than he was anyway and his board wouldn't have flung out and almost killed/severly injured someone.

From the video it looks like the paddler botched his stand up duck dive and ended up in the worst spot possible - floating close to the surface in the face of the wave.

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Wednesday, 3 Feb 2021 at 5:06pm

Yep, no doubt in hindsight he made a mistake there. As others pointed out he should have just gone under water. Hard to know what he was thinking. It's difficult to make a split second decision though when a guy is bearing down on you at 50kmh and you're pretty much at their mercy. As I mentioned the guy on the wave had a lot more time and options to avoid a collision, but decided to pass within a few feet of the bloke on the inside.

northeasterly's picture
northeasterly's picture
northeasterly commented Wednesday, 3 Feb 2021 at 1:20pm

True. The bloke towing shouldn't have been that close. It looks like he had plenty of time to ride in front of the bloke paddling. Also it's impossible to know how big the wave was from the GoPro footage. I certainly wouldn't be thinking straight if I was on a 9 ft board and a 12 foot set was about to break on my head.

PCS PeterPan's picture
PCS PeterPan's picture
PCS PeterPan commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 10:22pm

Boom in surfing numbers everywhere . There is a "rash" of incedents at my local . One of our local legends is nursing a badly broken arm after a 'learnertic' bailed just as he wobbled close enough to maximise damage . Another mate has bad knee damage (cartilage) after another learnertic went left on a right . This surfing is cofusing for some. And another locals young daughter is awaiting a second plate for her fractured skull .
In all instances , two things happened afterwards . All victims were incapacitated to the point they could not get the perpetrators details ,
Secondly , the morons who caused each injury fled the scene.
I got run down one day by a person of bad character on a SUP He could have avoided me easily.. Got 6 stitches in my jaw and a bunch of cracked rear teeth . The real cost of that is still being tallied .
Where does this 'clusterfucking' of our passion end ? i dont know.
I hate to say it but eventually someone will set a precedent and successfully litigate .

thedrip's picture
thedrip's picture
thedrip commented Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 10:25pm

Here’s a thought - don’t tow where people are paddling. Similar to powerboats and yachts, the tow guy should ALWAYS give way to the paddle guy.

Except you have muppets like Parko demonstrating to thousands that it’s okay to tow where people are paddling.

In this particular incident, 9 foot board, 9 foot leggie, keep his distance means taking a wide or high line, not surfing within a metre or two of the bloke.

Person in fault: tow dude for mine.

Ps: I’ve done a shed load of tow surfing and paddle surfing some reasonable waves. Tow guys should behave themselves better than many do.

Halfscousehalfcockneyfullaussie's picture
Halfscousehalfcockneyfullaussie's picture
Halfscousehalfc... commented Wednesday, 3 Feb 2021 at 5:52am

I’m still getting over the fact there were two German surfers in the lineup.............how naive of me

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Wednesday, 3 Feb 2021 at 10:42am

A lot of these European tow guys seem to have skipped the "pay your dues" part of learning to surf big waves and have gone directly to getting towed in to monster surf. I did a bit of You-Tube trawling on this guy and all I can find are clips of him towing. There's no clip of him paddling into an 8ft wave at Backdoor and getting shacked for example. I could be wrong about him and maybe he is an accomplished paddle surfer in waves of consequence, but I'm guessing he's not.
A few years back Kelly Slater pointed this out when a fairly high profile surfer had to be rescued at Nazare. There were claims of sexism at the time but I believe he was speaking in general terms. Basically if you can't nab a set wave at 8ft Backdoor and get shacked then you probably shouldn't be towing 30ft Nazare. Pay your dues: it's a cliche for sure but it has a lot of merit.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Wednesday, 3 Feb 2021 at 10:19am

Agree 100%.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Wednesday, 3 Feb 2021 at 10:38am

I think Sebastian is the guy who when Christian Fletcher was announcing the winner of the big wave awards he announced him as “the German who can’t paddle”
Lol

Parko_70's picture
Parko_70's picture
Parko_70 commented Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 1:49am

Spot on

spookypt's picture
spookypt's picture
spookypt commented Wednesday, 3 Feb 2021 at 10:12am

On the topic of ski's....just ban em. Nothing good comes from them recreationally.
Watched Mick fanning and Ross Williams talking about the mayhem of ski's out at big outside Phantoms or wherever in Hawaii the last big swell and Fanning says something like "Oh yeah there should be some sort of licensing ...you should see whats going on at home!" Laughable when its he and his Cooly crew creating the carnage.
When I raced motocross I always wanted them to allow us to race on Golf Courses.. Man what we could do on those berms and sand traps.. But it was deemed a bad idea and not in the best interest of either sport. So lets ban the stinking things for everyones sake (Excluding lifeguards etc)
Now dont get me started on dogs pissin on our beaches and attacking others at Bunnings will ya!

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Wednesday, 3 Feb 2021 at 5:07pm

Motorcross on golf courses. Now there's an image that'd have the 1% spitting out their coffee in shock. Haha!

batfink's picture
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batfink commented Wednesday, 3 Feb 2021 at 10:50am

Frightful, no winners there, but I think the jump on your board to dive down is a hoax, and leaves this outcome as a possibility. Just slip off your board and dive down, ffs, BUT ALWAYS CHECK THAT THERE ISN’T A SURFER BEHIND YOU. If you need to get deeper just go a second or two earlier.

What a clusterf#*k!

I hate it when you’re surfing a crowded beach break and people ditch their boards without looking around. Hate it, my number one surfing gripe.

Was out yesterday arvo at a mid north coast point. Quite a few out and solid 4’. Had to do the get out of the way thing multiple times, it’s part of the learning curve, just knowing how to handle that, and that includes going for the a white water smashing to avoid a problem. Was thinking just how much experience you need to do that effectively.

All the guys out there were good. No incidents I could see in a tricky situation, lots of wide ones, other waves closer to the rocks, guys way out the back and others like me spread around. Good respect out there.

Tony Jack Clancy's picture
Tony Jack Clancy's picture
Tony Jack Clancy commented Wednesday, 3 Feb 2021 at 2:24pm

Plenty of opinions and suggestions. Is it possible the paddler just saw the rider heading towards him and panicked? Lots of comments can be made about the concepts of better surfers owning the waves, an arroganceand about 'rules' and 'courtesy' both of which enable greater confidence and security. Boardriding can be high risk even when all is going well. Few waves, many surfers. That board, also could just as easily been a white pointer.

Situational awareness itself isn't enough to prtect a person against injury, it just helps. One has to do proper risk assessments given the conditions, perhaps even a group of riders do it and interchange one on standbye to direct/redirect less experienced surfers paddling out to go around the danger zones. Towing into big waves..or any I see as not so much an unecessary risk as a risk which has no 'leeway'. For all in the water each person ought to realise and accept "it's not all about me"...and that does need to be an education in which even the top surfers back off from dangerous possibles. The stories arise here and there still of extremely violent but talented surfers from USA, maybe in the Islands. We had some here too, reading violence may give a buzz but those guys in my opinion had less 'right' to the space than someone on his/her first paddle- out.Just as an example that extremely talented 'beautiful to watch sometimes' surfer Nat Young gave many people reasons to hate him however the flogging he got decades later was from a bloke who would be a hair-trigger in the lineup. Nat was just an arrogant surfer...the kid's father who bashed him relentlessly was a monster.

My opinion against it wouldn't even make a dent in stopping the practice.

North Narra used to be the Northside's most agro surfing spot when I was surfing...i have no idea what it's like now but one fundamental OHS situation they refused to accept was to take into account that 'it's not all about what I want or am going to demand'...That one would never stand up in law if damage or death occurs. Those blokes (well some) would do whatever it took to clear the water of anyone not of their tribe or their adulation.

The more skilled one is in judging speed distance and even comportment and deportment of other surfers then making a takeoff decision the safer it will be. I also do not see...unless aggro starts...it being anything but a good thing for the better surfers to approach the poorer ones when they return to the beach and having a chat with them and giving clear guidance...not threats...about safety in the environment. Even 'breaking the ice' could be a big step forward of inclusiveness and considerateness alertness and awareness when they next paddle out.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Wednesday, 3 Feb 2021 at 5:15pm

Waves are so so extremely Ultra Premium rare here...it hardly ever breaks...
Selfie Gazillionaires own these waves...Fashy Rig buys best waves.
Last thing you need is Gazillionaire blowin "mates" callin' mine for every bump...
Richie Rich : "Wow! Lucky me...just bought another wave...sorry poor local guys!"

tbb agrees with crew but not the action taken...
Towie Richie Rich is both a bio hazard & a serial pest...all say Aye!

See slovenly inside ski is in no hurry & perfectly times his slow retreat as per the plan.
This inside ski was not towing, but 'blocking the view' (Hiding) his rear defender.
The inside ski trails a super tight line to bring his defender to the strike plate...

Attacking Forward is now caught off guard & instantly forced to take on defender.
Defender has bought his time (Yawn) held his line 1/2/3 to timely take out the Striker.
One Shot...outta the ball park...money for Jam.

Richie Rich : "Penalty Ref...That's a Clear Penalty!"
Ref: We Call that a Duck Dive in Euro Surf Soccer...

This was a Euro Football move pure & simple. (Chess if you like)
These Pros could do it over & over with same precision effect...No prisoners.
In fact the Art of getting a wave is surfing to these guys as wave times out in 5 secs.

Crew all know that this is the Jet Ski's Red Bull Ring.
You could say it was even more so a Matador tactic.

Anyway you look at it...this was a perfectly timed accidentally on purpose accident.
Let's not pretend Euro Surfers will play any nicer than other 7 seas pirates.
Locals Rule #1 Never catch more waves than your friendly Local...(Instant Death!)

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo commented Wednesday, 3 Feb 2021 at 10:27pm

Interesting perspective... euro football mentality in the line up.

dean maddison's picture
dean maddison's picture
dean maddison commented Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 6:00pm

Guys probably never been caught inside, just gets towed out of trouble every time. Didnt look like a tow day.
Anyone with a jet ski ,a Go Pro and an intagram account can be a legend in an arvo.
The paddle guy had a ski , a tow rider and a large wave to deal with. Get over it luv.

.cylinders's picture
.cylinders's picture
.cylinders commented Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 3:56am

If you're gonna try to make a living surfing Nazare it's probably really helpful to not be a cock about it. I hope that in a few years that place has a local contingent that grows similar to the one we see now at Teahupo'o. He wouldn't be posting whiny vlogs about his lack of risk assessment ability if he didn't feel an immense sense of entitlement out there. Never really understood the appeal of Steudner, strikes me as the hedge fund manager's favourite surfer.