Jeremy Johnson's 5 most dangerous waves
The underground big wave charger from South Africa contemplates the world's most daunting lineups.
His first ever wave in Europe during a session out at Prowlers, Ireland. Photo: Aaron Pierce
Jeremy Johnson, a name you won't necessarily be familiar with and yet one of South Africa's hardest charging goofyfoots whose cut his teeth on Cape Town's world renowned big surf. Places like Outer Kom, Sunset or Dungeons... lineups as challenging as any big wave spot on the planet. When he's not surfing he's towing in Grant 'Twiggy' Baker, current big wave world champ, or working as water patrol for the world's best at J-Bay. But what's most on his mind right now is a spot in the Big Wave World Tour event at Dungeons this year, something he's put years of training towards for that one opportunity to prove himself.
Here the South African runs through his 5 most dangerous waves on the planet for us.
One of the biggest playing fields out there, in every way including marine life. Photo: Alan Van Gysen
“Without a shadow of a doubt, Dungeons, the lineup spans the equivalent of a rugby pitch, it's a really big playing field out there, with seal colonies not far away. There's nearly always big sharks roaming the area and it's kind of easy to get caught inside. The line-up is really hard to read and rarely ever clean or glassy. You'll often find yourself negotiating steps down the face of the wave and a lot of waves will just close out without any real warning. It's Cape Town's most famous wave, if you can feel confident in the water here then I'd say there's few other line-ups in the world you couldn't surf. I spend my whole year preparing for my sessions out at Dungeons, doing stuff most other big wave surfers do but also free diving and fishing... so as to combine preparation and fun."
Jeremy (on the inside) charging the bowl at Mavericks.
“Mavericks for me is the most powerful and daunting wave out there. The wave's reputation surpasses any other. The swells are usually really long interval, with a lot of lulls between the sets but the take off is really steep, jacking up out of deep water and unloading on the reef with so much power. It can keep you under for a super long time..."
“In third place, I'd have to say Prowlers in Ireland. I caught the biggest wave I've ever surfed out there during my very first trip to Europe. I hadn't slept at all and none of the other crew I was with had surfed it before either..."
Bayview. Photo: Josh Rowe
“Bayview, about an hour out of Cape Town along the eastern cape... it's probably the sharkiest spot on the planet! A load of people go to shark cage dive there... On top of that, you have to jump off the rocks to get to it so once you're in the water there's no getting out easily. It's a right-hand slab, not necessarily that big but really powerful and nasty..."
Your typical Sunset line-up, clean and a well defined peak, the complete opposite to Dungeons sat on the other side of the bay. Photo: Ant Fox
“Sunset (at Cape Town not the North Shore), a perfect peak close to Dungeons but the complete opposite... the line-up here is really well defined, with lots of algae in the water at the end of the wave and a drop that's quite steep but not quite as challenging as Mavericks. It's a really beautiful wave!"
For more on Jeremy you can visit his Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jeremy-Johnson/1442137439393295