Chuck Patterson: from snow to high waters

Chuck Patterson is a fearless waterman. The former pro skier has re-lit the new surfing concept started Mike Douglas and Cody Townsend: wave skiing.

In the latest big swell, Patterson headed to Maui to test himself. The result is absolutely amazing, as he took the huge waves of Jaws with a couple of skis and the helping hand from tow-surfers.

The final result is absolutely incredible, as it combines the skills of mountain skiing with the authenticity of surfing waves. "I had a good idea that it was possible, but it really made a big difference having a solid background in skiing and big-wave tow-in surfing to really push it in big waves," Patterson told the Ski Channel.

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Wipe-out: having fear is natural, don't worry | Photo: Ben Margot

Surf fear. Who hasn't experienced it yet? Every surfer dreams of surfing a giant 30-foot wave in Hawaii, Jaws, Mavericks, Todos Santos, or Teahupoo, but fear is a very powerful thing, and can sometimes simply drive you away from the things you might dream of.

Experiencing fear is normal. When you have a fear of something, your body and mind protect yourself from what it perceives as a danger or menace. Fear is a healthy, natural instinct of defense and survival. There are many fears associated with surfing and wave sports.

The most common surf fear is that of wave height. Many fear to ride big waves for three commonly cited reasons: the wipeout from the top of a giant wall of water; the chance of hitting a reef or a rocky bottom; and drowning, or the loss of breath.

A smaller proportion of surfers report other fears associated with the sport; including fear of sharks, storms, lightning, currents and localism and being hit by surfboards.

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Mullaghmore Head: welcome to Ireland

Heavy, fast and hollow waves have been charged by the invitees of the first annual Billabong Monster Energy Mullaghmore Head, a big wave surfing contest held in County Sligo, Ireland. Benjamin Sanchis and Éric Rebière, from France, were the biggest winners after scoring incredible barrels.

Twenty-foot waves have been surfed in light offshore wind conditions. Richie Fitzgerald, Ireland's finest big wave rider, has partnered with Gabe Davies in Mullaghmore Head, a premier European surf spot.

This place is quite incredible and breaks over a shallow, left-hand reef break. It is only surfable on the high tide and produces outstanding heavy tubes. Watch the first video highlights.

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