You’re 14-years-old. Sitting out the back on a 5’11” gun. A legit 8-footer swings your way at Lakey Peak—a towering teepee that’s literally blacking out the evening sun—and your hero, Damien Hobgood, yells at you to go.
What do you do?
Jett Schilling, along with Kyuss King (16), Jackson Bunch (13), and Wyatt McHale (16), each faced that exact scenario during the biggest swell of the season (so far) in Indonesia last month.
And on each occasion, they went.
So, how did they find themselves in such a nerve-racking position in the first place? With three simple steps: They answered Damien’s phone call, boarded a plane to Indo, and followed one of the world’s best tuberiders out into the most serious surf of their young lives, waves that Damo would later describe as similar to Teahupo’o.
“Like with Camp Hobgood back in the day, I just tried to find a need, and [working with kids] is where my passions are at right now,” Damien told me, when I asked him how this trip—mentoring a handful of the best teenagers in the world—came to be. “None of this is about me. It’s 100-percent about helping out these kids.”
But his most important advice? When you're in position to catch a bomb, you always, always, go.
[Intro By Zander Morton / All Photos By Scotty Hammonds]
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