Look who's all grown up! Laird's Millennium Wave, the glass slab that kicked off surfing's two-plus decade obsession with backless, throaty, monster surf, is 18 years old this week. Officially an adult.
And you know what? It ages pretty well. There was a reason our eyeballs popped from our skulls and rolled around on the floor like marbles between our feet when we first saw Laird power through that cerulean South Pacific juice. Thick, muscly, (both wave and Laird) seemingly waiting to deal out death as a punishment for even the slightest mistake, the barest miscue of foot placement, the Millennium Wave would still be considered a proper Chopes beast today.
Sure, he was towed in. But keep in mind, back then Laird's feet were permanently strapped to the decks of surfboards, even when he wasn't in the water. Was a strange time.
And lord, the surf is uninspiring at the Tahiti Pro this week. I literally yawned simply typing that. So rather than vicariously grovel through our laptop screens, let's instead watch Laird's wave 18 years on and imagine how it would fare in a Teahupoo contest today. For comparison's sake, watch Laird's wave above, then let's check out the 2014 perfect-10 fest between Slater and Medina below. Remember that heat? You should, it was probably the high point of competitive surf history, at least in terms of quality waves. When Teahupoo for the briefest of moments, looked like an uncomplicated tube impossible to blow, though still one that would frighten the skeleton from my flesh. Let's watch:
Okay, ignoring that he was towed in, let's at least try to score Laird's wave. It's bigger and much thicker than any of Slater or Medina's wave. Spits a bit harder too. He ain't exactly deep, but the lip's shadow does briefly darken Laird's Herculean form, so he's getting barreled even if just for a moment.
Assuming he wasn't towed in, a brief survey of the staff yielded scores of 8.5, 9.5, 10 and 8.0. I'm going with a solid 9.0.
What say you?