WSL Big Wave
Hawaiian-native named World Big Wave Champion by WSL
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 2 March, 2015 - Hawaii - Recently the World Surf League (WSL) named Hawaii-native Makuakai (or Makua, which means guardian of the sea) Rothman the number one big wave surfer in the world. The rankings are based on points earned during the 2014 Big Wave Tour and Rothman took the title by more than 7,000 points, with a grand total of 20,833 to finish the season.
Rothman, who began surfing at the early age of two on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii attributes his love of surfing to his father, Eddie Rothman, a well-known surfer and co-founder of the Da Hui surf club, family friend Darrick Doerner, as well as the impressive list of professionals he had the fortune of growing up around, including Sunny Garcia, Johnny Boy Gomes, Dane Kealoha and Myles Padaca.
"This is such an honor," said Rothman, who turns 31 in June 2015, "I can't tell you what an experience it is to be recognized for doing something you love. It is what I've dreamed about."
Rothman's dreams almost didn't come true. As a child, Rothman suffered from asthma. In a sport where controlled breathing and the holding of one's breath are crucial, Rothman was at a major disadvantage. By getting involved in various other sports, as well, Rothman found relief for his health condition in the strenuous workouts and strength training through his trainer Rob Garcia.
With Doerner, one of the pioneers of tow-in surfing, as his guide, Rothman eventually won the 2002 Billabong XXL Big Wave Challenge Award in a historic big-wave session, where the 18-year-old rode a 66-foot wave (the largest wave known to be surfed anywhere in the world that winter) which solidified his place as a serious competitor in the sport. Rothman still holds the title as the youngest to catch the biggest wave in the world.
Rothman's 2002/3 Billabong XXL Award winning wave at Jaws © Ron Dahlquist
The hard work certainly paid off and, now, Rothman can breathe easy in his comfortable spot at the head of the surfing pack heading into the off season.
The surfer turned singer-songwriter Rothman has also been touring in support of his debut album "Sound Wave," a laid-back, pop-inflected reggae-rock grouping of songs paying homage to his heritage.
Rothman will officially receive the title at the World Surf League Big Wave Awards this May 2015.