Greg Long: riding the Cortes Bank beasts

Big wave surfer Greg Long has been included in on National Geographic's annual list of Adventurers of the Year.


Long is featured alongside prominent mountain climbers, swimmers, skiers and kayakers, and adventure fans are being asked by National Geographic to vote in their favorite for the People's Choice Award.

The surfer from San Clemente, California, is a six-time winner at the Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards.

He was surfing a massive swell at the Cortes Bank (100 miles off the California coast) with an elite crew on December 21, 2012, when he suffered a multi-wave hold-down and blacked out underwater.

Greg Long, 30, was rescued and revived by fellow surfers, stabilized and airlifted from the deck of their support ship by a US Coast Guard helicopter and transported to a hospital in San Diego where he was treated and released the following day.

"When you start to think about your friends and family. I know that I'm always going to ride big waves in some form or another. How, when, why, what's my motivation is still settling into place", Long tells National Geographic.

Despite the physical and mental trauma, Long soon resumed his quest for big wave performance, placing in the finals of the Mavericks Invitational, just a month after the accident.

Long quickly thereafter emerged as the Big Wave World Tour points winner in March, and in May took the Best Overall Performance Award at the Billabong XXLs, for the third time in his amazing career.
 
Past Adventurer of the Year honorees include base jumper Felix Baumgartner, surf legend Kelly Slater and astronaut John Grunsfeld.