Big Wave Updates
Long makes 'Adeventurers of the Year' list
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 15 November, 2013 - Today, National Geographic announced the 2014 Adventurers of the Year whose extraordinary achievement in exploration, adventure sports, conservation, and humanitarianism have distinguished them in the past year. One of the 13 nominees this year is big-wave surfer Greg Long who nearly lost his life in a massive wipeout off Cortes Bank in 2012.
Online voting for the People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year is now open and runs through Jan. 31, 2014. Fans can go to to vote every day for their favorite honoree. The adventurer with the most votes at the end of the voting period will be announced in February as the 2014 People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year.
The 13 Adventurers of the Year for 2014 are:
• Stacy Bare and Nick Watson — American adventurers and veterans who launched an organization that links veterans to the outdoors and the outdoors community;
• Greg Long — American big-wave surfer who won the 2012/13 Big-Wave World Tour, despite nearly losing his life in a massive wipeout a few months earlier;
• Amy and Dave Freeman — American adventurers and educators who completed a three-year, 11,647-mile journey across North America by kayak, canoe, dogsled and foot, connecting with students and teachers along the way;
• Diana Nyad — Sixty-four-year-old American long-distance swimmer who recently completed a swim between Cuba and the United States, on her fifth attempt;
• Kevin Pearce — American snowboarder who, after surviving a traumatic brain injury, launched the “Love Your Brain” campaign to encourage the use of helmets for kids;
• Kilian Jornet Burgada — Spanish “skyrunning” ultrarunner whose new brand of running involves blazing up technical terrain such as glaciers, rock ridges and steep snowfields;
• Raphael Slawinski and Ian Welsted — Canadian alpinists who were the first to summit Pakistan’s K6 West, one of the last great unclimbed peaks in the world, despite danger and political turmoil in the region;
• Adam Ondra — Czech rock climber who takes climbing to new frontiers of difficulty;
• JP Auclair — Canadian skier who is best known for his special style of urban skiing;
• Sarah Marquis — Swiss hiker who has just completed a three-year trek from Siberia to Australia.
"As I was dangling from the basket of the Coast Guard helicopter, being lifted from the middle of the ocean in huge seas after basically drowning, I said to myself, 'There’s no way. I’m done. Thank you for this second chance at life. I don’t need big-wave surfing anymore,' " remembers 30-year-old Greg Long. That day, he vowed he would never surf big waves again.
On December 21, 2012, Long had just dropped into a massive 25-foot wave at Cortes Bank, 100 miles off the coast of San Diego, when fellow surfer Garrett McNamara unknowingly dropped in on top of him, cutting him off and causing him to fall. The airbag in the back of his wetsuit, failed to deploy when he pulled the cord that activates the CO2 cartridge.
He managed to hold his breath long enough to crawl up his leash to the tail of his surfboard, but the board was still submerged in aerated water, which prevented him from catching a breath before he blacked out. Three consecutive waves pinned him underwater.
Despite his initial reaction to the accident, not only did Long go back to riding big waves, he went on to earn the title of Big Wave World Champion less than a year later when he won the 2012-'13 Big Wave World Tour, a yearlong competition in which the world's top 12 big-wave surfers..
Long put a lot of thought into his decision to return to big-wave surfing, but ultimately, he came back to the reason he started in the first place.
"It's always been my passion to explore this, and where I really feel alive," Long says. "I wanted to find my physical and mental potential as a human being—that was the avenue by which I was exploring it. So I decided I was going to go back."