Storm Surfers 3D: Five of the Best Waves

Our take on five of the best waves to be found across the rivers and oceans of the globe.
Storm Surfers 3D
By Glen Ferris

In Storm Surfers 3D, Aussie tow-surfing legend Ross Clarke-Jones and two-time world champion Tom Carroll, embark on a mission to find the world's most insane waves. To help them on their way, we've picked out five of the very best...

Most dangerous: El Gringo

Known to the Chilean locals as 'Flopos', El Gringo is an intimidating site and well deserving of the reverence paid to it by professionals from around the world. It's described by former Arica Chilean Challenge bodyboarding champ Jeff Hubbard as one of the deadliest in the world. “You talk about dangerous waves, the Arica wave is the most dangerous waves on tour, in my opinion,” say Jeff. “It’s cold water, so that makes the waves much heavier and the waves just wraps into these dray, shallow, jagged rocks at both ends.”

Most remote: Vilcanota River

Peruvian surfer Gabriel Villaran is used to going that extra mile to find a special wave, but he really outdid himself when he trekked 3,000 metres above sea level to the Vilcanota River, just outside Cusco deep in the heart of the Andes for a spot of static surfing. “The stretch of river here is spectacular, big waves right in the middle of mountains and jungle,” said Gabriel. “It was funny seeing the locals react to me and my surfboard, they thought I was totally insane!”

Most innovative: The Panama Canal

The 77km man-made marvel that is the Panama Canal wouldn’t immediately strike you as a prime spot for a bit of surfing. But when you consider the size of the waves created by the huge vessels taking advantage of the shortcut that joins the Atlantic to the Pacific, you begin to understand why Gary Saavedra would want to give it a shot. The 13-time Panama national surf champion made such a successful stab at riding the waves that he smashed two Guinness world records - one for the longest time sufing a non-static wave and a second for the longest distance travelled on the same wave on open water.

Most unlikely: the Severn Bore

You’d hardly expect to find a great wave on a sleepy English river, but every now and again such a place is home to swells that reach up to 2.8 metres high. The Severn Bore, a natural by-product of the incoming tide being funnelled up the narrowing Severn Estuary, can see four-star waves and average speeds of 10mph. The Severn Bore was apparently first surfed by Second World War veteran Jack Churchill, a military cross awardee renowned for being the only Allied soldier to kill an enemy with a longbow!

Most deadly: Jaws

The waves in Hawaii are renowned as being some of the most intense in the world but one in particular is deadly. Just ask pro-windsurfer Jason Polakow, who was almost claimed by the awesome might of Peahi - or Jaws - in Oahu. The two-time PWA world champion had a miraculous escape after wiping out and being held under by three huge waves for more than a minute. Eventually, he resurfaced and later exclaimed: “I don’t understand how I’m still alive. I saw myself dying. I just got pinned in a really bad situation. Even though I’ve had really bad wipeouts in the past I’ve always come up before the second wave. I got a three-wave hold-down and it was just gnarly. I’m so lucky to be here.”

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