Respect is something that doesn’t come easy in the tight-knit world of hardcore watermen. Among that rare set of brave sailors, surfers, divers, and paddlers, one of the most respected is Jamie Mitchell. Mitchell is a 10-time champion of the annual Molokai to Oahu paddleboard race, the crown jewel of the sport.
But while Mitchell has gained fame as a prone paddler, his prowess in the stand-up position is what’s garnering a lot of attention now, for he’s become one of the most prominent stand-up paddlers in the world. In fact, Mitchell has been joining big-wave surfers in some of the most harrowing sessions of the year.
Last month he was spotted dropping into massive waves at Jaws, on Maui, riding his SUP board. That came just days after he and others had tackled huge waves at the elusive Cortes Bank, a submerged island that sits 100 miles off the coast of Southern California and produces open-ocean monsters when swells are running high. It was the same day that big-wave surfer Greg Long nearly lost his life.
Paddling champion Jamie Mitchell rides a giant open-ocean wave breaking 100 miles off the coast of California. Cortes Bank is a submerged island that’s considered one of the world’s most dangerous nautical hazards for good reason. Since 2001, surfers have been making strikes on it in the hopes of riding the world’s biggest wave. See more here.