Surfer Makuakai Rothman on Riding What some Describe as a Record-Breaking 100-Foot Wave in Hawaii During a Historic Winter Season.

January 27, 2021

I’m just blessed that a wave can give me a voice in mainstream media to (inspire) children to love themselves, be true to yourself, believe in yourself no matter what anybody says.

  • Surfer Makuakai Rothman is a World Surfing League Big Wave World Champion: “I didn’t actually know how big it was when I was riding it, but I could tell it was a special wave, it felt different,” he said, his voice, five days later still conveying a contagious excitement and stoke. “Those waves, they create their own wind, their own ecosystem, they have things that aren’t on the normal-size wave: bumps as big as cars on their face.”
  • The winter season in Hawaii produces huge waves – estimates range from 40-60-100 feet high.
  • Some veteran surfers described the unique conditions in this way: “For me, it was right on the edge of being too big (to surf),” said Alika Anixe. “I’ve been doing this for 30 years and today was the first day I’ve ever needed a ski assist.”
  • High surf warnings closed beaches.
  • The waves also led to whats described as historic surf sessions, some captured by photographer Marcos Rodrigues. January 16th is now known as “Super Swell Saturday” because of the wave heights. Rodrigues said, “It hardly gets this big with good wind direction, all of it was a dream of magic.”
  • Why It Matters: Beyond the historic nature of the swell, surfer Makuaki Rothman says the ocean is more important than ever: In this digital, social media age when kids can be teased, bullied and shunned “and it’s so instantaneous,” Rothman said, it was more important than ever to “don’t be afraid to dream big and live the life you want to live, don’t be afraid to fail that’s the only time that we learn.” He said sports were a good way to get kids away from screens, especially surfing, “because the ocean kills any electronics—it’s one thing you cannot not pay attention to.” READ MORE

{{< youtube id=”f_AzbCBzoUI” title=”Billy Kemper & Makua Rothman 100 ftr Dream Team XXL PE’AHI” >}}

by Jenna Lee,