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by Ed Temperley on Wednesday 28th November, 2012 27735 Views
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Two years in the making, RED BULL JAWS is the brainchild of Ian Walsh, Pe'ahi's resident big wave expert with a nose for a swell.
"Once we started paddling Jaws, the idea for the event slowly started to form," explains Walsh. "I was just imagining what it could do for the level of riding big waves, and it seemed like over the last few years there's a really substantial swell somewhere around the world that resets the bar and progression of what guys are capable of doing in big waves. It seems like now is the right time for a contest like this."
The ideal conditions for the event to be called "on" are wave face heights of between 30 and 50 feet, from a NNW swell direction with light winds.
"We will be looking for a swell that challenges the upper limits of paddle-in surfing," says Competition Director Mike Parsons. "Over the last five years Jaws has set the bar in the big wave paddle realm. The conditions we're looking for are a strong northwest swell from 330 degrees with face heights from 30-50 feet with smooth surface conditions." Parsons adds, "Jaws is unique in that it requires a more Northerly angled swell. When the swell direction is 330 degrees or above Jaws will often be double the size of Waimea due to swell direction." © 2013 Red Bull
In order to achieve a wave face of greater than 30ft+ the event forecasters will be looking for a swell with an average in excess of 10ft at 15 seconds. This magic jump in size is down to the focussing ability of the reef at Pe'ahi which will produce breaking waves 3 to 5 times higher than the average ocean size.
Utilising 10 years of averaged data you would expect to see 4.5 swells at the 10ft at 16 second mark during the current waiting period of December 7th till March 15th. Taking one second off the requirement will give you a frequency of just over 7 instances and lifting the bar up to the 15ft and 15 seconds required by the Eddie Aikau at Waimea brings the average frequency right down to 1.6.
These two will not clash as the event has stated: "RED BULL JAWS, Paddle at Pe'ahi respects and honours the tradition of big wave riding and its pioneers. While the event period for RED BULL JAWS coincides with The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau event on Oahu, organizers for each event are in communication and will ensure there will not be any conflict. The optimal conditions to run at each of these two locations are very unique." © 2013 magicseaweed/Red Bull
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