A still from a video shoot in Tasmania a few weeks back with Russ Bierke. We saw the swell coming a few days out, and kind of couldn't believe it was real. It was as big as you get down there, perfect direction with great winds all day. Anybody who has chased this spot, knows that to get even some of these elements coming together can be enough - so to have a 15-20ft offshore day on the cards meant we had to give it a shot.
We got down to Hobart the night before, the only surfers to travel down for the swell (normally there might be 10 or 20 guys flying in from all over Aus for these days) picked up the hire car, and set up shop for the night. We went down to Salamanca to grab some dinner, and discovered the 'Dark Mofo' festival was on, an ominous gathering of fire, darkness and delicious food.
We woke at 3am the next morning, got in the car and hit the road for the 2 hour drive down to Port Arthur, where we had a boat waiting to take us to the spot. It's either an hour boat ride through some pretty rugged ocean, or an hour and a half walk through beautiful bushland. Either way, you suffer a little bit - but with the boat you get to bypass the super challenging jump off the rocks into the water, which would have been quite serious on this day.
We arrive in the lineup, to see absolute chaos unfolding straight away. It's pushing past the size the reef can even handle on some waves, something i've never seen before down there. The local Tasmanian fellas decide to give it a crack anyway, before the tide gets any lower. Honourable mention must go out to Mikey Brennan, for catching probably one of the craziest waves ever ridden out there straight off the bat. I think if you had spent too long looking at it this morning it would have been hard to grab the tow rope and have a go, so big respect to the guys for just getting down to business.
The tide bottomed out, and the huge period swell was just drawing too much water off the reef. We sat in wait for the swell to ease, and tide to rise - and ended up sitting in the boat spectating an empty lineup much of the day. As the afternoon came on, things started to calm down enough to have a go again, and Russ picked off a couple of crazy ones.
At the end of the day, we were absolutely done. Sunrise to sunset in the boat, with some serious carnage in between. Keep an eye on Redbull Surfing for the clip of our day!