Hawaii Winter Surf Season Opens With Tragedy
November 15, 2013 7:52 AM   Subscribe

Two days ago, as Hawaii's North Shore saw it's first swell of the winter season, Waimea Bay (one of the world's deadliest waves) was already crowded by mid-morning. Experienced San Diego surfer and recent Hawaii transplant Kirk Passmore paddled away from the crowds to the outer reef of Alligator Rock, soon after catching a relatively tame 20 footer, the final wave of his life. Though the search continues, his body has yet to be found.

3 weeks ago in Nazare, Portugal, Brazilian surfer Carlos Burle was towed in to what many are claiming to be the biggest wave ever surfed. Or was it?

Carlos would also go on that day to save drowning surfer Maya Gabeira , a very experienced, decorated big wave surfer, from a similar wave.

Big Wave pioneer Laird Hamilton, had some very strong words about Maya, which many are calling a macho dismissal of one of Big Wave surfing's only women.
posted by BlerpityBloop (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Doing my first visit to Kauai this week. The exhibits of the power of water are everywhere and totally unreal.
posted by Reasonably Everything Happens at 8:04 AM on November 15, 2013

posted by arcticseal at 8:20 AM on November 15, 2013

posted by oceanjesse at 8:21 AM on November 15, 2013

Reminds me of Kare Kare by Crowded House.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:25 AM on November 15, 2013

posted by skycrashesdown at 8:37 AM on November 15, 2013


Oh man. If a helicopter finds/recovers this body, there's a chance I'll hear about it.
posted by bilabial at 8:39 AM on November 15, 2013

I grew up at the beach. The Ocean's Kung-Fu is best, and sometimes it just up and says "Nah... I'm keeping this one" and that's that.


posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:40 AM on November 15, 2013

At least one of the articles mentions float vests. Hopefully this becomes a sticking point for their (more) widespread, routine use.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 9:46 AM on November 15, 2013

What’s it feel like when your leg gets busted by a wave? (Laughs!) Oh, I don’t even realise my leg was broken until later on.

In my experience, I realized my leg was messed up right away.

R.I.P. Kirk Passmore.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 9:49 AM on November 15, 2013

Even small waves over there seem steeper and stronger than comparable ones in California.
posted by Danf at 10:31 AM on November 15, 2013

I'm kind of afraid of the water, and a shitty swimmer. I never, ever venture very far out into the ocean, no matter how tame it is.

That pic of Passmore's last wave is just fucking terrifying to me. To quote a friend of mine (whose fear, however, is heights, not water): I'd rather fight a bear.
posted by Fists O'Fury at 11:28 AM on November 15, 2013

Passmore was surfing without a paddle vest, one of the few surfers in the water without one.

posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:43 PM on November 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

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