While the masses look to the latest horror movie or haunted house for a Halloween fright, surfers are only frightened by the world’s scariest surfspots! From shallow, thick-lipped slabs to skyscraper sized outer-reef peaks these six surfspots are feared far and wide as the most frightening places to surf in the world.
Let’s face it, there are a ton of heavy slabs around the world that can make any scary wave list, and there’s a hundred sharky spots that could be on the list as well. For the purposes of this blog we focus on the waves that hold the most respect from the crew of big-wave chargers and slab-hunting hellmen that scour the world searching for the scariest waves.
1. The Right, Australia
The offshore slab known as “The Right” has only been surfed for the last few years and is a relatively new hell-wave discovery. Nutty OZ surfers like Mark Matthews and Ryan Hipwood have had well documented life threatening wipeouts almost every time they surf the spot. And yeah, it’s Australia so there’s sharks out there.
2. Teahupo’o, Tahiti
Teahupo’o is the Holy Grail of slabs. Originally pioneer by bodyboarders like Mike Stewart in the early 90’s, this reef goes from 120 feet deep to 6 feet deep in an instant creating mutant backless waves. It’s a miracle more surfers haven’t lost their lives in such a fearsome surfspot that is continuously pushing the limits of paddle and tow-in surfing. Bruce Irons got his boardshorts ripped off of him and Keala Kennelly got her faced smashed on the same Code Red swell in 2011. Others have lost their lives after collisions with the reef.
3. Nazarre, Portugal
This headland in Peniche holds the world’s record for the biggest wave ever surfed. The whole North Atlantic Ocean basically unloads it’s energy on this most western tip of Europe – Nazare. The deep water submarine canyon lying offshore funnels this energy into gigantic a-frame peaks that defy reasoning. While 88 feet stands as the world record for biggest wave ever surfed, it’s pretty obvious that a 100 foot wave will be ridden here soon.
4. Mavericks, California
This wave is one of the world’s most famous breaks for obvious reasons. Mavericks is an outer reef and a shallow slab all rolled up into one deadly wave. Top to bottom barrels with 40-60 foot faces have challenged the best big wave surfers in the world year in and year out. Unfortunately, Mavs has taken out two of the greatest Hawaiian big wave surfers of all time. RIP Sion Milosky and Mark Foo.
5. Dungeons, South Africa
Off the coast of the beautiful city of Capetown, South Africa is the Southern Hemisphere’s premiere big wave surfspot – Dungeons. If the name alone doesn’t scare you the shark infested waters should. While it has been surfed for many years, recent big wave contests and footage of memorable sessions have catapulted this spot into the limelight. Dark, cold, sharky, giant are all good words to describe this scary spot.
6. Jaws, Maui
While Nazare might hold the record for tallest wave, nothing on earth compares to Maui’s Jaws. With open ocean size reaching 60 feet plus and both right and left options available, Jaws is a big wave surfers dream and everyone else’s nightmare. Trade winds can kick up 3 foot chops that make driving down the face of one of these monsters a serious dilemma. Easily the biggest tube rides in the world on the right.