Big Wave / Tow-in News
Volcom's Shawn 'Barney' Barron Scores the Yeti
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 2 November, 2009 : - - Camarillo, CA - With Fall barely out the gate, the second major North West Pacific swell marched towards the Oregon coastline promising endless amounts of giant surf for a few solid days. With the predicted buoy reading of 17' @ 17 seconds, Mother Nature delivered once again a massive blow with some 35'-40'+ wave face heights at a select outer reef just south of the now famous Nelscott Reef. The locals call it 'South Reef' and rarely does it break as it did on October 22, 2009!
"I have lived here for a long time and I have never seen South Reef break the way it did on this day. For sure, it has the potential to get even bigger. The only concern at that point would be getting out thru the beach break. If South Reef is 50'-60', then the beach break would be a solid 30'+ with very heavy surges!" - Keith Galbraith
Further south from the outer reefs which were exploding giant size waves 1/2 mile off shore, is a newly discovered slab called 'Yeti', where mutant like waves appear out of know where and break deep below sea level, virtually disintegrating every thing in its path. Local tow-in pioneers of this mutant slab, Dan Hasselschwert and Ollie Richardson were the first towsurfers to ride this wave back in 2006 w/ the assistance of a PWC and tow-ins. That same year, Keith Galbraith and Eric Akiskalian joined the duo team for a second session and realized that they had a world class slab right in their own back yard. Last year, big wave charger and legend Mark Healey from Hawaii, went to claim the Monster Tube Award at the Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards with his heroic deep barrel ride at the Yeti.
Prior to the recent and anticipated large swell hitting the coast, local Oregon big wave charger Keith Galbraith invited his good friend and Volcom team rider, Shawn 'Barney' Barron, one of Santa Cruz's hellmen to come and tow the slab and partner up with Sage Huls from Hawaii. When the giant surf started pounding the Oregon coastline, it was the usual local big wave team riders of Tim Henton of Oregon Surf Shop, / Mark Bulider, Dan Hassleschwert / Ollie Richardson and Keith Galbraith along with Eric Akiskalian of Towsurfer.com and friends that scored a solid four days of surfing beach break A-Frames and towing mutant slabs and South Reef bombs!
As a renewed waterman with a sobering approach to his surroundings, Shawn 'Barney' Barron spent a one day appearance on the slab and managed to score a few insane rides that had all heads turning in the channel. "Defiantly a wave out of your imagination" - Shawn 'Barney' Barron / VolcomTeam Rider
Joining the local crews along with Barney and Sage were, Kealii Mamala and Chad Jackson who flew over from Hawaii to take advantage of this very large swell and compete in the Nelscott Tow-In Event.
South Reef was visibly much bigger then Nelscott Reef as Tim, Mark, Keith and Eric had it to themselves off and on for the entire day on October 22nd. As each tow team rotated in position to ride yet another giant wave, the competitors and media at Nelscott Reef took their glances from time to time to witness the local crews representing their home turf in solid form.
Special thanks to: Tim Henton owner of Oregon Surf Shop and Jason Miller along with his beautiful family for opening their home with fine dining and the best chowder around for all our friends over the years! And for all the continued support, storage, beach launching and personal assistance needed to make our sessions safe and successful. We love you Miller family!!
Check out more at the Towsurfer.com website.
To view youtube clip of Eric's giant left at South Reef
To view youtube clip of South Reef and Nelscott Tow-In Event
To view images of Nelscott Tow-In Event
To view imges of the Yeti
To view Pacific Northwest Monster Slab
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Erik Akisalan / Towsurfer
Big Wave - Surfersvillage