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Walt Hoffman says it is impossible to ride a wave over 30 feet only because he has never ridden a wave over 30 feet. Does Randy Matson take it easy and put the shot only 60 feet just because his competitors are having trouble reaching 55 feet?
As for Mr. Van Dyke's comment that "big-wave riders are scared people," he only speaks for himself. It is true that many people who ride big waves are trying to prove that they can do it, and they may be scared, but they are not true big-wave riders. Guys who get up at 5 a.m. to surf before work, or guys who spend as much as 13 or 14 hours in big surf in a single day, are not afraid of riding big waves.
Speaking as probably the most celebrated big-wave rider in the Islands, I do ride big waves for the challenge and the excitement, which can be compared to nothing else, but I mainly ride big waves for pure enjoyment. I intend to ride a 50-foot wave at Kaena Point only to prove that it can be done.
I sought beauty and found it in the fascinating perfection of a breaking wave.
I sought fellowship and found it in a group of surfers huddled together, outside, waiting for another wave.
I sought harmony and found it when I joined together with a curling wave.
I sought a meaning for life and found it when I ventured helplessly among the towering giant waves of Makaha. I was no match for their awesome power but, with courage and the confidence that comes from overcoming one's fear and ineptitude, I got a brief glimpse of glory.
I sought God and found Him easily there in the waves and people of surfing.