Jason Polakow: My five favourite waves

Jason Polakow has surfed some of the best waves on the planet. Here are five he'll never forget.
By Josh Sampiero

Few people in the world have ridden as many waves as world-champion windsurfer Jason Polakow. Whether he's got a sail in his hands, towing in behind a jet ski, or paddling in on a shortboard, the fearless Aussie is one of the hardest-charging wave-rippers on the planet.

In the video above, he shares some of his favourite waves in the world, starting in his home country of Australia: “The northwest coast of Australia has tons of incredible waves, and with the right resources – a proper off-road vehicle – you can get some incredible rides,” he says.

And the second wave in Australia from the video? “I can't say exactly where that is – but it's comparable to Teahupo'o. A dredging, hollow, left-hand barrel!”

Jason Polakow rigging his last sail after a wipeout during his session at Cloudbreak in Fiji on July 12th, 2011
Jason Polakow, windsurfer and surfer © Stuart Gibson/Red Bull Content Pool

Of course, then there's Teahupo'o itself – one of the nastiest waves on the planet. Why? “It's the shallowness of the reef – It's so easy to bounce off the bottom, and the coral is super sharp," answers Jason. "Land the wrong way, and you could peel all the skin off your face.” Such injuries are known in the surfing world as 'Tahitian tattoos'.

But of course, there's always the ultimate wave, sitting just up the shore from Jason's Maui home: Jaws, or Pe'ahi. It's a place where Jason has ridden many a wave, and taken many a beating – including an infamous three-wave hold-down back in 2011. He's the only surfer in the world to have experienced being underwater at Jaws for that long – and he's grateful for his survival.

But having surfed some of the biggest and best waves on the planet, Polakow still has his eyes on a few more spots that aren't exactly easy to reach – such as Cortes Bank off the coast of San Diego or Predra Branca off of Tasmania.

Both waves require a boat to get to, and have been surfed, but not windsurfed. Will Polakow be the man to do it? Only time – and the perfect forecast – will tell.

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