Author: Greg Noll and Andrea Gabbard
Pioneer big-wave surfer, Greg Noll, was called Da Bull by his fellow surfers for his stubborn, straightforward and aggressive approach to the sport.
His approach to life in general wasn't much different. His life revolved around surfing and everything the sport engendered. He made surfboards and surf films. He pioneered modern surfing in Australia. He discovered Mazatlan as a surf spot.
He as the first to ride the fear-some waves at Waimea Bay and Outside Pipeline on Oahu's North Shore. He brawled and caroused with men, charmed and entertained women.Above all, he was Da Bull, one of the bravest and best of the big wave riders of his or anyone's era.
Part of Greg Noll's motivation for riding big surf came from the camaraderie he enjoyed with his elite and rowdy peers.
The other part came from with: "I just wanted to ride a bigger wave than anybody. I wanted to do something none of the other guys could or would do."
One day in December 1969, he did just that when a storm from the Aleutians drove monstrous swells onto the shores of Oahu and created a day like no other at Makaha Point. There, Greg Noll met the wave that had beckoned but eluded him for twenty years.
Hawaii State Senator and former World Surfing Champion, Fred Hemmings, was out in the water at Makaha that same day. Afterward, he described Greg Noll's experience as "a death-wish wave. If it had been anyone else in that situation, he would have died."