Jumping off the rocks, done right, makes so much sense.
Why walk down the end of the wave and paddle through rolls of whitewater and buffets of rip when you can casually stroll up the point, make a timely leap using skill and inherent ocean knowledge, make a dozen measured paddle strokes dry haired to the lineup?
Sounds all well and good, so far, right?
Even the most skilled of wave riders can come a cropper. Waves are unpredictable, rocks are slippy. Rogue waves, etc etc. Plus there’s the pressure. The peanut gallery, those evil pricks, cameras ready, just hoping with every last sinew of their being that you fuck up.
Miguel Blanco’s Valiant Almost Save
In all fairness, the lad done well. Real well. You can see from the slo-mo that Michael White tried to retreat, realised he couldn’t with a wave bearing down, then controlled what could’ve been a horrible slip, abandoned the raft in the calmest possible way, then got a timely dive in under the worst of the maw. Kinda. You or I would’ve almost certainly faired much, much worse.