the play­ers paul' an­tman' pater­son

Word from in­stru­men­tal men in the New Zealand and in­ter­na­tional big wave scene.

New Zealand Surfing - - News -

The West Aus­tralian mad­man has been a gi­gan­tic fig­ure in world big wave surf­ing for over 20 years, at the turn of the mil­len­nium in his role as a Quik­sil­ver am­bas­sador An­tman was in­stru­men­tal in the big wave move­ment in NZ when he would at­tend the Big Wave Chal­lenge each year, in­spir­ing the lo­cal lads and push­ing the lim­its at new waves. His list of big wave surf­ing ac­co­lades in­clude; the 1999 Reef Big-Wave World Cham­pi­onship. He also fin­ished third in both the 2001 and 2002 edi­tions of the Quik­sil­ver in Mem­ory of Ed­die Aikau big-wave events at Waimea Bay, and won the 2001 Bil­l­abong XXL Largest Pad­dle-In award, for a 48-footer, also caught at Waimea.

What draws you to surf­ing mas­sive waves and how/when did you first get in­volved with the sport of big wave surf­ing tow and pad­dle?

Once you get a taste for a big wave you just want more & more, big­ger and big­ger. I'm lucky enough to have a few big waves spots at home in West Oz where I had my first taste of the big­ger stuff. I then put around 20 sea­sons in Hawaii.

How does NZ rate as a BIG WAVE des­ti­na­tion on the world scene?

Al­though NZ is not renowned for be­ing a big wave des­ti­na­tion, I think the lo­cal crew are happy to fly un­der the radar be­cause NZ would have to sit right up there on the World scene. Sim­i­lar to Cape Town in so many ways, lat­i­tude, cold wa­ter, va­ri­ety of waves and coolest lo­cals.

What's your favourite BIG WAVE spot in NZ?

My favourite spot in NZ would have to be down in the Catlins. Such good va­ri­ety from out­side reef breaks to slabs and amaz­ing beaches.

Dur­ing your time in­volved with the sport what is the heav­i­est thing you've had to deal with/seen from ei­ther per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence or some­one else's?

Heav­i­est thing I had to deal with was only a cou­ple of years ago, tow­ing a slab with Twiggy Baker down in the deep south of WA. It was big and what should have been the bar­rel of a life time, turned ugly as a cor­ner bend ap­peared in front of me and I had nowhere to go. (see pic) It pushes you re­ally deep and the only rea­son I sur­vived was from learn­ing how to re­lax in those life threat­en­ing sit­u­a­tions. Af­ter a solid two wave hold down I was lucky the third wave of the set held up and didn't quite break. I know I made it to the sur­face and then passed out. Twiggy raced in and picked me up on the ski just be­fore the fourth wave of the set nearly pounded us. It was a very close call.

Where do you think the sport can go from here?

What are the lim­its and who is push­ing them the hard­est? Now the ASP runs the World Big Wave tour and we have more and more of the best surfers in the world want­ing to do the Big Wave Tour, I feel it is gain­ing some mas­sive mo­men­tum and not long un­til the sport at­tracts the back­ing and recog­ni­tion it de­serves. Grant "Twiggy" Baker has it so di­alled in right now. Along with Greg Long, Shane Do­rian, Mark Healy and Jamie Mitchell these guys are tak­ing it to the next level.

What sort of equip­ment do you need / rec­om­mend when surf­ing gi­gan­tic waves and who should you sur­round your-self with?

Equip­ment can make or break you in huge waves and mas­sive seas. A thick enough board and legrope, some form of buoy­ancy vest etc… Safety is first, along with your fit­ness and it al­ways helps and feels com­fort­ing if a jet ski is around for safety rea­sons.

What are your boards look­ing like when you head out there? Boards are any­where

be­tween 9-ft and 10-ft with heaps of foam in them.

If some­one thinks they are ready or wants to step-up and catch some huge waves in NZ what one piece of ad­vice can you give them to stop and think about first?

Try and go through all dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios in case of an emer­gency. The big wave lo­ca­tions in NZ are quite re­mote ar­eas and first aid could be so far away. If you can keep it safe then ev­ery­one gets to en­joy the ses­sion.

Last Words: I would like to thank Kyle David­son and all the leg­ends that were in­volved in the Rex Von Huben me­mo­rial big wave event. Great times down in the deep south of NZ. Cheers, An­tman

Rus­sell Ord

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