Cloudbreak Trip

A small army of underground and high-profile chargers descended on Cloudbreak Sunday for the biggest swell to hit Fiji in years. Making the trek were current Big Wave World Champion Greg Long and San Diego standout Jojo Roper (pictured here), as well as XXL Paddle Award Winner Aaron Gold, Mark Healey, Damien Hobgood, Billy Kemper, Dane Gudauskas, Sean Lopez, Mike Pietsch, and others. While it wasn’t quite as massive or perfect as the 2012 Fiji swell, the size and power on display
was still nothing short of spectacular.

Dane Gudauskas

Dane Gudauskas, making sure everything’s screwed down nice and tight.

Mark Healey, Koa Rothman, Eli Olson, Billy Kemper

Mark Healey, Koa Rothman, Eli Olson, and Billy Kemper, amping.

The day would begin on a terrifying note: The first boats were greeted by solid XXL Cloudbreak, sets capping deep on the reef, and a handful of surfers made their way into the lineup, including Aaron Gold. On the first wave ridden, Gold took a spill and disappeared from sight, surfacing near the reef’s edge where he was found unconscious by cinematographer Larry Haynes. Close friend Mark Healey began to resuscitate Gold before he was brought onboard a nearby boat. Gold was taken to a nearby hospital to check his lungs for water, but he was walking and talking shortly after regaining consciousness.

Underground Hawaiian charger Mike Pietsch, trying to keep his board from becoming a kite in the stiff offshores.

Mike Pietsch

Mike Pietsch

Mike Pietsch

Pietsch, all smiles after putting in one of the day’s most impressive performances.

Koa Rothman

Koa Rothman

Francisco Porcello

Francisco Porcella

Nathan Florence

Nathan Florence

Damien Hobgood

Damien Hobgood

Damien Hobgood

Damien Hobgood

Jojo Roper

Jojo Roper

Jamie Sterling

Jamie Sterling

Sean Lopez

Sean Lopez

Nic Vaughan (riding) and Francisco Porcello (over the falls)

Nic Vaughan (riding) and Francisco Porcella (over the falls)

Mike Pietsch

Mike Pietsch

Mark Healey

Mark Healey

Koa Rothman

Koa Rothman.

No takers?

No takers?

Eli Olson

Eli Olson

Jon Roseman

Tavarua’s patriarch, Jon Roseman, welcomed the big-wave world to his little reef pass with open arms, but was sure to sneak in a few bombs, showing the visitors how it’s done.

Nic Vaughan

Nic Vaughan

Nic Vaughan

Nic Vaughan

Dane Gudauskas

Dane Gudauskas

Dane Gudauskas

Dane Gudauskas

 
Dane Gudauskas

Dane Gudauskas earned each and every one of these cold foamers, having made what most are claiming was the barrel of the day.