Welcome to the beast of backwash

Tom Curren, Kanoa Igarashi and Yadin Nicol take on Sandspit, California’s most notorious breakwall.
By Andrew Lewis

After last year's blitz of waves throughout the US West Coast, thanks to El Niño, we thought 2017 might be a bit quieter. Wrong. So far, things have been pretty silly, especially at California's most notorious sand-bottom breakwall, Sandspit.

Once kept semi under wraps by its local surfers, Sandspit today is a full-on bonanza of pros, bros and surf paparazzi when the swell and wind charts coalesce. But no matter how heavy the crush becomes these days, you can always count on veterans Tom Curren and Yadin Nicol to rise to the top, negotiate the watery moguls, and nail a few barreling beauties.

Local surfer Yadin Nicol in a barrel at the Sandpit break in California, USA
Yadin Nicol’s big splash © Scotty Hammonds

At the end of Januay, when just the right swell popped up, filmer Scotty Hammonds elbowed his way to prime position on the beach and caught Curren, Nicol and young gun Kanoa Igarashi in the act. The day's very best barrels – and wipeouts – are captured in the edit above. 

#HitAndRun

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