Words by Schuyler Allen | Photography by Ridge Benben
‘An Invitation’ featuring Tyler Larronde
Can you learn to surf giant Waimea by watching YouTube Vlogs? Probably not, but what else are you supposed to do when you get invited to The Eddie and have never surfed The Bay?
This winter, Maui’s, Tyler Larronde, received the most prestigious call-up in big wave surfing: An invitation to compete in The Eddie. Having grown up on Maui, and surfing Pe’ahi since the age of 14; Tyler’s skills were never in question, but he had never surfed Waimea Bay.
On January, 22nd, The Eddie was called on for the the 10th time since it’s inception in 1984. The outer buoy peaked at 28ft @ 19 seconds and Tyler punched through the shore break for his first time straight into a gladiator pit of 30ft close-out’s and a coliseum of 40,000 spectators. By the end of his second heat, Tyler had broken his board and scored a perfect 30 point ride.
It’s safe to say that all those years of surfing Jaws have paid off. Or maybe, Nathan Florence’s Vlog actually taught him how to survive massive Waimea?