This was a wave six years in the making.
In 2012 the now legendary Thundercloud session at Cloudbreak took big wave tube riding into a totally new realm. Two of the standouts on that day were Chilean, Ramon Navarro and Hawaiian Kohl Christensen. The image of Ramon in his white wetsuit top, bouncing over the foam ball inside those big blue caves is forever seared into my brain.
The other moment from that day etched in the memory of surfers the planet over is the vision of Mark Healey’s board floating helplessly in the lip of ‘that one’ - the rogue set wave that changed the way we looked at Cloudbreak forever.
So, six long years later, when a Cloudbreak swell of the same magnitude showed on the charts, Kohl and Ramon knew what kind of wave they were waiting for. It took a hell of a lot of patience and faith, but eventually it came, and Kohl put Ramon right in the spot for the wave of his life.
“It was our second run of the afternoon session,” recalls Ramon. “We just waited for the big one. And that’s what Kohl asked for. Just to go out there and wait. If it came through we’d go, if not, well then at least we tried. Kohl was so focused on ‘that wave’ it felt like he knew it was going to happen. In the end we waited for more than two hours. When the wave arrived it was coming so fast. So when Kohl took off I just focused on not falling from the yank of the ski. I didn’t even really look at the wave until I let go of the rope. When I did I just saw the thing double in size. It was so glassy and so perfect! The ride itself was so fast and I had so much speed. I didn’t realise how big and thick it was when I was riding it. It Felt like a big hollow wave, but nothing like when I saw the video and pictures. Maybe I needed to be deeper to see the thing over me haha, I don’t know, tow is different. It’s a weird feeling.”
When asked how he intended to pay back Kohl for gifting him the wave of the day Ramon just laughs, “Well now I have a big problem, but that time will come soon.”