WELCOME TO THE BEATING HEART OF YOUR ADDICTION
WE ARE THE SPIT
THE TRADE WINDS
THE HOWLING GALE
WE ARE BACKWASH
Mikey Corker: This place is like no other big wave spot that I know, for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is about 150ft deep on either side of the slab, and less than 10ft deep at its shallowest point. It sits right in the path of giant swells marching out of the Atlantic, so you are getting full open ocean power colliding with a near vertical underwater rock wall and that energy just gets forced up and out and creates some freakish waves. We only got a glimpse of the potential. The other huge factor that makes it unique is its location. Miles from land, and freezing cold, it is just hectic. I can think of big wave spots like Mavericks that are in cold water but not that kinda freeze the shit in your pants extreme cold. The place is inhospitable, and we did not see anyone else there during the whole winter.
Dan Crockett: Where's the appeal in something so rare?
MC: I think certain people are drawn to a challenge more than others, and any person who naturally gravitates towards heavier waves needs to tap into a range of experiences or emotions that the mundane or routine of normal life is just not going to provide. I think partly it is a case of the tougher the challenge, the bigger the reward, but I also think any “reward” is just icing on the cake and some people just need to go out and challenge themselves to feel they are being true to their calling.
DC: How did it feel to never quite get it?
MC: Mixed feelings. I was really feeling for Cotty as I know the personal and professional sacrifices he made to give himself the best shot of scoring that wave. Again, it comes down to the reward idea again. I know that we did not get that final big pay off we all were wanting, but in this case Cotty gave it 120%.
DC: What's the future for the project?
MC: We have some ideas that we are developing right now. Instead of focussing on one location where we used the boat mostly as safehaven to access a spot already known, we will be sailing to a very remote region far out in the Atlantic to find new waves, exploring the wider themes of adventure and human attraction to those regions far beyond the comfort zone.
Backwash Issue Two is a surf anthology featuring Japan, the photography of Chris Burkard and Sergio Villalba, Hamish Laing and Woody Gooch. Kalani Lattanzi swims at Nazare, whilst Amy Kotch surfs barrels whilst pregnant and John Peck knee paddles out as he has done since 1958.Purchase