There are not many waves in Europe that are intimidating just to look at. This one is. A natural colosseum that’s an arena of rage and noise really not keen for any rubber suited gladiators, like, say Russell Bierke, to take it on.
It’s one of those joints any normal surfer would look at and just say, ‘Nope! No. No way. Uh-uh.’ while backing away slowly giving it the double bird. It’s a watery accident waiting to happen. It does not look surfable … At all.
Thing is as unruly and bone-snappy as it is there are routes through the madness. Chip in to the right one and you’re guaranteed a tube of rare girth. Coming out the other end is a whole other matter. If you can survive the foamball nipping at your fins and the inevitable cannon blast of spit trying it’s hardest to blow you over the handlebars then you might just make it out. As for the ‘spit’ it’s a phrase that’s not really man enough for this joint. ‘Spit’ suggests just that: a watery flob on your shoulder. This is like a blue whale doing it’s biggest ever sneeze behind your earlobe.
It’s an awe inspiring spot, it’s also remote, dangerous and a really bad place to hurt yourself. Hence folk rarely surfing alone. Even with Peter Conroy running safety on the ski it’s one of the few waves where you’re genuinely worried whenever anyone puts their head down for a big one. Rescues are tricky, extraction even harder, unless you know someone with a helicopter.
These spring sessions enjoyed over a few wondrous days saw Gearoid twang his ankle, Conor get the red badge of courage on his face thanks to the reef and Adrian FDV re-break his ankle.
It’s one of those places you get a couple of good ones then you take your leave. You don’t want to push it too far … not many get out of the colosseum unscathed.
See the full feature in the new issue of the magazine…
Featuring: Russell Bierke, Nelson Cloarec, Adrian Valderrama, Peony Knight, Kit Innes, Conor Maguire, Gearoid McDaid.
Huge thanks to: Fionn Rogers, Peter Conroy, Clem McInerney, Tim Nunn.