Savannah Shaughnessy spent many summers in Puerto Escondido (aka “the Mexican Pipeline”) honing her big wave surf skills. This photo was taken on May 28, 2011 as a big south swell was building. As Savannah pulled into this beautiful barrel, all the elements aligned. In the coming days, the swell produced some of the largest waves of the season, and Savannah paddled out on the biggest day accompanied by only a few other brave souls with a high tolerance of fear and comfort in gigantic surf.
Savannah’s prowess in big surf led her to conquer some of the biggest waves ever ridden by a woman at Mavericks, a world famous big wave spot located one hour north of her hometown, Santa Cruz, California. Savannah suffered an injury from a wipeout at Mavericks two years ago. The recovery process has been long, but she has started surfing again.
We have been working on a documentary on Savannah called “Beaming,” which shares her story as a young woman with a passion for big waves fuelled by perseverance and courage.