When Jamie Mitchell took off a 60 foot wave at Belharra during the Hercules swell, the Australian waterman raised his exposure as one of the elite big-wave riders in the world. Surf Europe caught up with Jamie and his own words asked him to shed a few secrets.
1) The Wave behind his Belharra bomb was even bigger
On the wave I rode, I slipped down and was then sucked back over the falls. It wasn’t a super long hold down, but it was pretty violent and when I came up, and was facing the other way. I turned around and the next wave was even bigger. That landed on Twiggy’s head and he got smoked and then I looked up and had a wall of whitewater coming to me. I was just sitting there knowing no one could help me and I looked in the channel and everyone is just looking at you. I was the full deer in the headlights and there was 60 foot of whitewater coming straight at me. I was just bobbing in the ocean waiting for it to hit me.
I have a Patagonia vest and you can pre-inflate them, so I had already had air in my flotation, so its yin and yang, sometimes you want to get rid of the air and dive down, but in any case there was too much going on and no time so I just bobbed under the water a foot or two and that thing just mowed me down for even longer.