Surf Girl - - Instagram - words NIKKI BROOKS

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.

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