Shawn Barron: riding a massive wave at Yeti

With Fall barely out the gate, the second major North West Pacific swell marched towards the Oregon coastline, promising endless amounts of giant surf for a few solid days.

With the predicted buoy reading of 17' @ 17 seconds, Mother Nature delivered once again a massive blow with some 35'-40'+ wave face heights at a select outer reef just south of the now famous Nelscott Reef.

The locals call it 'South Reef,' and rarely does it break as it did on October 22, 2009!

"I have lived here for a long time, and I have never seen South Reef break the way it did on this day. For sure, it has the potential to get even bigger. The only concern at that point would be getting out through the beach break. If South Reef is 50'-60', then the beach break would be a solid 30'+ with very heavy surges!" - Keith Galbraith

Further south from the outer reefs, which were exploding giant-size waves 1/2 mile offshore, is a newly discovered slab called 'Yeti', where mutant-like waves appear out of nowhere and break deep below sea level, virtually disintegrating everything in its path.

Local tow-in pioneers of this mutant slab, Dan Hasselschwert, and Ollie Richardson, were the first tow surfers to ride this wave back in 2006 with the assistance of a PWC and tow-ins.

That same year, Keith Galbraith and Eric Akiskalian joined the duo team for a second session and realized that they had a world-class slab right in their own backyard.

Last year, big wave charger and legend Mark Healey from Hawaii went to claim the Monster Tube Award at the Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards with his heroic deep barrel ride at the Yeti.

Prior to the recent and anticipated large swell hitting the coast, local Oregon big wave charger Keith Galbraith invited his good friend and Volcom team rider, Shawn 'Barney' Barron, one of Santa Cruz's hellmen, to come and tow the slab and partner up with Sage Huls from Hawaii.

When the giant surf started pounding the Oregon coastline, it was the usual local big wave team riders of Tim Henton of Oregon Surf Shop, / Mark Bulider, Dan Hassleschwert / Ollie Richardson, and Keith Galbraith along with Eric Akiskalian of and friends that scored a solid four days of surfing beach break A-Frames and towing mutant slabs and South Reef bombs!

As a renewed waterman with a sobering approach to his surroundings, Shawn 'Barney' Barron spent a one-day appearance on the slab and managed to score a few insane rides that had all heads turning in the channel.

"Defiantly a wave out of your imagination" - Shawn 'Barney' Barron / VolcomTeam Rider

Joining the local crews along with Barney and Sage were Kealii Mamala and Chad Jackson, who flew over from Hawaii to take advantage of this very large swell and compete in the Nelscott Tow-In Event.

South Reef was visibly much bigger than Nelscott Reef as Tim, Mark, Keith, and Eric had it to themselves off and on for the entire day on October 22nd.

As each tow team rotated in position to ride yet another giant wave, the competitors and media at Nelscott Reef took their glances from time to time to witness the local crews representing their home turf in solid form.

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