“I just remember feeling weightless and it taking a really long time to come down." What came next for surf photographer Ryan Moss wasn't pretty. He's now in a hospital bed in Honolulu. To see exactly what happened in waves never seen before, read on.
Reports of a once-in-a-lifetime swell had been building for about a week before the waves finally arrived on Monday. All the best big-wave surfers in the world were well prepared and ready to venture out into the ocean to tackle a handful of outer reefs that could cope with such massive swells. And along with all the surfers were a bunch of photographers who never miss the opportunity to shoot these humongous, cavernous waves.
One of those photographers was Ryan Moss, a seasoned veteran on the islands, well accustomed to shooting in such scenarios. What he wasn't ready for was the sets that loomed on the horizon like big, black windows blocking the sun. In the video, you can see Moss and his partner, big-wave surfer Cam Richards, fly up over the wave around the 2:00 mark. The landing wasn't good, as they were so high up in the air. As Moss said from his hospital bed: "I didn’t know or realize how fast Cam sent us over the lip of that thing. There was no handle on the ski, so I couldn’t stand up and hold on and hoped my legs would have absorbed some of the impact. So, I was just sitting on the back with a death grip on the leather seat. Next thing I know, I heard a loud thud, and it felt like the ski buckled in half."
Quite macabre, I know, but I'm wondering what happened to all his camera gear. Thankfully, Moss is not paralyzed, as he first feared, but he'll be out of the water for quite a while. I'll let you watch on in awe.