Derek Dunfee Wipes Out, Tombstones At Mavericks

30 feet and sinking at the world's most punishing big wave

When you watch someone slip through the fist of disaster, like La Jolla’s Derek Dunfee recently did at Mavericks, best to hear the experience described by the man himself.

Worst wipeout of the year for me. If you don’t know what Tombstoning is, here’s an example. Mavericks is the scariest wave on the planet. Every single wave at the big wave spot can kill you. I tried to knife my board down the face, but I got launched in the double up. I slapped my face on the water really hard and cracked my neck. The wave pushed me 30 feet deep, causing my board to tombstone. I could feel that I was getting pushed deeper into the ocean instead of washing in towards the beach. Instead of trying to swim up and breathe, I relaxed. Luckily, I didn’t get hurt.