Anticipating The Violence In The Whitewash With Mick Corbett & Jarryd Foster

8 Feb 2016 0

Sally Mac

Coastalwatch Digital Editor

Foster and Corbett pushing the ski to the limits, Photo by Jorge Figueira

Foster and Corbett pushing the ski to the limits, Photo by Jorge Figueira

COASTALWATCH | Interview From Nazaré

Jarryd Foster, 28, is from Dunsborough in Western Australia and a 2015 Big Wave award winner. His best mate and tow partner is fellow West Australian Mick Corbett, who has a list of incredible big wave achievements of his own. Right now the pair are held up in Nazaré towing and surfing, egging each other on and pushing each other into super-sized walls of water in anticipation of a potential 100-foot swell this week.

Over the next couple of days, a giant storm cell will hit the Portuguese coast and these two mad frothers will be ready to rev each other up and whip one another into bigger waves than ever before. "We will be experiencing waves bigger than what we have ever ridden." Said Foster of the expected swell. 

SEE ALSO: Five Things Your Didn't Know About Nazare By Ross Clarke-Jones

"Nazaré itself is the most ridiculous set up I've ever encountered, and that's without dealing with the shore break which is a whole other world." If it wasn't enough having to deal with getting released onto the wave at speed, holding yourself steady on the descent, making it into the channel safely and back to the support ski. Jarryd says two of the three main take off peaks right-hand option, head straight towards the famous bellowing cliff where the anxious, yet excited onlookers hug a small stone building and lighthouse to watch the action.

The reason for the enormous wave size is due to the underwater canyons and the refraction the create says Foster; "One giant swell line from the north meets with steep, invisible canyons. The swell then refracts from the south back up the beach, forming a wedge that can produce 40-60 feet waves on an average day. The bigger the swell comes in from the north, the bigger the wedge." This week's storm is looking positive as it continues intensifying as it heads towards land. "We're hoping for the 100-foot mark (similar conditions and size to when Garrett McNamara set the most recent record in 2013), which could be possible if the wind is right and the waves hold up." Foster says.

Foster cruises left last week, Photo by Jorge Figueira

Foster cruises left last week, Photo by Jorge Figueira

Corbett and Foster along with Mick's twin brother Dan have been surfing together since their grom days, meeting up at longboard competitions in Western Australia. It wasn't until Dan, who is in Portugal with the pair now, took a job as a surf guide in Indo just a couple of years ago, that Mick and Jarryd started chasing the monster swells. They now travel the globe with a bucket load of adrenalin, Western Australian big wave riding talent and guts, proving themselves amongst the best surfers in the big wave business. 

"In the last year, we've had our fair share of amazing sessions." Said Foster "We've really got a rhythm happening and it just feels like second nature to both of us; from the tow to the ride. Both Mick and I have nailed some pretty gnarly bomb waves as a team. We both know exactly what each other's capabilities and limitations are out there, where we need to be on the wave and how each other drive the ski."

SEE ALSO: Jason Polakow Is The First Person To Windsurf Nazare

Knowing your mate's capabilities is crucial when you're each other's support crew, it's not all victory runs and celebrations out there, you're in one of the most volatile natural situations in sport in the world. The wipeouts are real, at Nazaré they're are amongst the worst you can get. A number of big wave professionals have become victims of the powerful barrages of whitewash and the deep Atlantic force; Maya Gabiera in 2013 and Antonio Silva in 2015 both narrowly avoided death after being dislodged from their boards. Foster says "The beat downs out there are really Long and super violent. Both Mick and I have made use of the floatation vests on multiple occasions already, sometimes you just have to pull the cord or you won't be coming up before the next wave."  

The guns that Corbett and Foster are using this week, they say are different to what everyone else has in the line-up. "Without going into too much detail, the boards we've got on this trip are going really smooth over the chop and are designed to pick up more speed than usual. Mick has been doing some huge pocket turns and I'm getting in a few 'drop-wallets' on the lefts." Foster said, "We can't wait to see what McNamara thinks of the setup." 

Both men are on the infinite hunt for big waves, feeding their love for the unpredictability and fierce nature of the world's wildest waves, with the hope of taming the unique beasts of the deep. They'll chase the storm swells and surf perfect waves for as long as they can, for Foster Teahupo'o is on top of his list as a goofy. Whilst at home they make the odd trip to Tasmania and drop into the famous Shipstern Bluff when it's firing. Foster is optimistic that "...One day we will be paid to chase these waves but either way, I'm going to be surfing them. In my opinion, the chase beats owning a house, and I know I'm living my life to the fullest." 

Mick Corbett throws a turn under the lip, Photo by Jorge Figueira

Mick Corbett throws a turn under the lip, Photo by Jorge Figueira

The board set up, Photo by Foster

The board set up, Photo by Foster

Tags: nazare , mick , corbett , jarryd , foster , surfing , topnews (create Alert from these tags)

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