POV Shipsterns Bluff Tasmania
By Kirk Owers | 07 June 2012
Shippies from the Mikey Brennan perspective.
Shipstern Bluff is a wave not many surfers will ride outside their favourite worst nightmares. It’s big, shallow, cold, isolated and it has more steps than a fireman’s ladder. Though the wave doesn’t attract the fanfare and A-listers as regularly as it used to it is charged, boundaries are pushed and lives are risked every time a mega south swell lines up the Tasman Peninsula.
Wednesday, May 30 will go down in local folklore as one of the biggest and ugliest days ridden at the bluff. The wave faces on the sets were over well 20 foot, which combined with a 17 second period and slight crosshore translated to a ghoulish, drooling hunchback of a wave. I watched proceedings from the rocks and was exhausted by days end. Set waves were sought after, the ledge was approached from deep and square on. Most rides ended in horrific wipe-outs and one hospitalisation (Alex Zawadzki who legs were ripped “into the splits and backwards”). Tyler Holmer-Cross dubbed it “Wipeout Wednesday”. No one died and it was puzzling.
Why do they do it? seems a fair question to ask. The answer came the following day. The swell backed off, the wind blew steadily offshore and the boys traded cavernous 10 foot tubes all day long. It looked almost enticing. Mikey Brennan was a stand out. He recorded a clutch of his best waves with a go pro camera held high above his right shoulder. You can see his handy work here. If you want to know what it feels like to leap off the step and set up the end bowl at Australia’s heaviest wave it’s all here. Enjoy the show. This is about as close as most of us will ever get.