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It’s not every day you get to chat to a big wave core lord who’s part human, part scavenging raptor, part domestic livestock. But that’s exactly what friend of the pod, former Big Wave World Champ and WSL host Peter Mel is. Oh, and he’s parenting in the Maverick’s impact zone too. Pete picks up the story:
“It’s just been non-stop this winter, ever since December started. Day after day after day and with great conditions, that’s the other part that’s just been so nice about it.
Generally in winter time we get a lot of fronts that bring south winds, which is not really that great. But there’s been none of that, it’s either glassy, light offshore or NE even, which are generally fall type conditions, all winter long.
When we get La Niña, that sends all that energy north, we get the swells and keep the conditions optimum, which is amazing.
It’s been chilly too, the water’s been pretty cold, but you just put on a bit of extra rubber, and you’re fine.
I’ve been doing a lot of reps up at Maverick’s, all through December. The Dec 8th swell was the catalyst for feeling as comfortable as I was on 8th Jan. And the other part of it all was the inspiring performances from (son) John.
That’s partly why I’ve been up there more than anyone, keeping him supported and safe. Whether it be water safety or just being there as Dad.
That’s what’s inspired me to be up there every swell, because he’s going: “Are we going? It’s gonna be up, right? Are we going?”
We’re taking turns, watching each others’ backs. He’s really good on a ski. And he’s had a lot of opportunity to learn. There was a big tow opportunity before the 8th, where he had to come in and pick me up on a wave I got smoked on, he’s been getting more and more experience. He’s gotten like ten years’ experience in one season.
But going back to why Jan 8th was so special, I was actually watching some video from the December session, that was the first time we saw Kai (Lenny) go, and when Twiggy got his big one.
So that day I was watching the video, and just thinking ‘Man, you could be a little bit deeper and actually kinda backdoor the bowl…’
Anyway, I hadn’t surfed all morning, John had been surfing, I’d been watching, doing water safety, and I thought, ‘ok I’m just gonna go catch a wave or two’.
I paddled about 20ft deeper than I usually do on my lineups, because I figured if I can get there, maybe I can backdoor it.
Then the wave popped up, and I dug for it. As soon as I stood up I’m like, ‘Oooh… this is a little deep here…’ ”
There’s much more to Jah’s rich shred tapestry than icy cold death teepees of course; we chat to lithe log lord Harry Roach in tropical Queensland, Australia about his style influences, notably the very fine noseriding of Mr Dane Peterson.
Meanwhile, find out how and why co-host Mondy, famed for his frugality, spent £750 on a 3 second Cornish tuberide. That’s three quarters of a bag of sand on a Kernow tunnel visj… but was it worth it?
He says yes.
Elsewhere, enjoy the usual thrust and parry of surfing’s hot topics being dissected and debated by two middle aged men who were in their primes before the Internet or podcasts were even invented, struggling desperately to maintain relevance in what is essentially, a youth sport.
- Moana Wong / Tati West beef & women at the Pipeline.
- Accidental lineup shots: Yes please.
- Vintage tube stances in the magic 3-4ft range (come back Tudor, all is forgiven): Mike Ho’s cheater 5 steez, Jim Banks’ peace sign, Occy’s hands behind the back, Bugs’ iconic pointing etc.
- Mondy takes on the FB anti-vaxxer conspiracy theory mafia faction of the Aussie surf media
- Leo vs Mikey’s not-so-sudden death surf off
As the show comes to its thrilling climax, ITNL’s exclusive quiz segment ‘What C__t Said That?’ returns as Mondy poses 10 quotes from surf luminaries and Paul attempts to guess from whose lips they emitted.
Paul’s choice of song to play out the show if he wins: Tom Zé – Jimmy Renda Se
Ben’s choice: Grace Jones – William’s Blood
Running time: 1h 11min
Is 2021 merely 2020 in a trench coat (with its pubes on fire)?
It’s fine it’s fine it’s all gonna be just fine.