• picture
  • picture
PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Almanac: Giant Waves

Air Date: Week of January 25, 2002

stream/download this segment as an MP3 file

This week, facts about the biggest wave ever surfed in Hawaii.

Transcript

CURWOOD: It's Living on Earth. I'm Steve Curwood.

[MUSIC: Dick Dale & the Del Tones, ìThe Victorî, REVENGE OF THE SURF INSTRUMENTALS (MCA ñ 1995)]

CURWOOD: On January 28th, 1998, a storm off the coast of Japan created a once-in-a- lifetime experience for one lucky Hawaiian surfer dude. That's the day when 45 year old Ken Bradshaw rode the biggest wave ever recorded being surfed. The storm had stirred up such huge wages that officials of an international big wave surfing contest had to cancel the event, being held on the North Shore of Oahu. The Coast Guard labeled the waters "Condition Black", and told everyone to stay away from the ocean. But that didn't stop a few veteran kahunas like Ken Bradshaw, known in the surfing world as ìKen Kong.î Ken and his cohorts rode out on jet skis a few miles, to the spot where 60 foot ocean waves were already breaking. A film crew flew out to capture the action and, at times, their helicopter was actually flying lower than the crest of the waves. And then, at just the right moment, Ken Kong caught an 85 foot monster cruncher. He rode down the side of the wave, clearing the crashing white water where the wave was breaking and miraculously avoided a wipe-out. But the man who rode that biggest wave remains modest. As he told Surfer magazine that day, "I just knew I caught a really big wave and I was trying to get out of its way." And for this week, that's the Living on Earth Almanac.

 

 

Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

P.O. Box 990007
Prudential Station
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Telephone: 1-617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Newsletter
Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Major funding for Living on Earth is provided by the National Science Foundation.

Committed to healthy food, healthy people, a healthy planet, and healthy business.

Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live.

Kendeda Fund, furthering the values that contribute to a healthy planet.

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary hummingbird photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.