Makua Rothman: he dropped into an impossible ride

Makua Rothman has conquered the Billabong Pico Alto 2014, in Punta Hermosa, Peru. The final was held in 25-to-45 foot surf.

The Billabong Pico Alto 2014 opened the Big Wave World Tour 2014/2015 in scary conditions. Low clouds and grey skies, random hollow walls of water, bumpy wave faces, and unstable winds welcomed big wave surfers in Peru.

Wipeouts rapidly hit the fleet. Surfers got caught by the rolling whitewater or hit by falling heavy lips, which means that inflatable life vests were put to work. Jet skis also suffered at the hands of Pico Alto.


Chuck Patterson: the master of surf skiing

Unlike the Alps and Pyrenees, the liquid mountains of Jaws, in Maui, move as you ride down the slope. Fortunately, Chuck Patterson has brought his special skis.

Chuck Patterson is a versatile rider. Having mastered both big waves and steep snowy slopes, the Californian enjoys leaving a mark in what he does.

While everyone surfs the Hawaiian walls of water, this man prefers skiing them. The whole picture is unusual because our mind associates ski poles with steady white cliffs, not waves.


Breaking waves: 1/7 ratio between wave height and wavelength

The breaking of waves is studied by fluid dynamics, a sub-discipline of physics that studies the science behind liquids and gases.

Scientists have concluded that waves break when their amplitude reaches a critical level that causes large amounts of wave energy to be transformed into turbulent kinetic energy, like a ball rolling down the hill.

In other words, when waves reach shallow waters - usually near coastlines - they increase in height, and their crests meet the Law of Gravitation. The waves break. That is what wave shoaling tells us.