Photo: Erik Aeder

Patri McLaughlin tells us about these classic images from a big wave session at Jaws in January 2022

The party wave was crazy and it was the first wave I caught. I was the first onto the swell way out the back. The wind was quite light, so the windsurfers (Jason Polakow in this shot) had to sit in a bit further in order to catch the wave. What made it really interesting was the tow guy on there, too. I don’t mind sharing waves at all, it makes it more interesting, as long as everyone is aware of each other and trying to stay safe. This particular wave was pretty hectic! I was deeper than everyone else and kind of had to pull up under the lip in order to not crash into Jason. Luckily, I snuck under the lip and aired out into the channel. It was touch and go for a minute, though...

Photo: Daniel Sullivan

The barrel crash wave was my second and final wave of the day. It was a similar situation where there was a tow team maybe going to burn me, but they pulled off at the last second. I was super deep and started racing down the line. I could tell the wave was going to barrel and I had a second where I could've aired out the back of the wave. I decided I was going to pull in and see what happened. I had everything set up perfectly, my kite was in a good spot and I was hoping to pull under the last section of the barrel.

See more from that wave in Patri’s Instagram clip below!

Photo: Erik Aeder

Right when I pulled up under the lip though I knew I was screwed. The wave bent around like a horseshoe and my lines went straight out the back through the lip. I tried to jump into the lip and have my kite pull me out the back, but I my hands got ripped off the bar and I was sucked over the falls. The kite crashed and I felt the lines snapping. I pulled the release and swam up to the surface.

Jesse Richman negotiating waves and kites Photo: Erik Aeder

My kite was in a pretty sketchy position, crashed out to sea between me and the next wave. I saw Jesse ride out into the channel and the wave crushed my kite pushing it towards me. My main concern right there were the lines wrapping me up, which is always one of my biggest fears; getting hog-tied by the lines... and when a wave of that magnitude hits your kite it could easily be game over. I didn’t feel any lines around me though and Daniel Silvagni was there to pick me up on the jetski after the second wave.