Extreme heli island-hopping with big-wave surfer Dave Wassel

Have you ever wondered how pro surfers are able to make it to the farthest reaches of the globe any time surf conditions are peaking, seemingly at the drop of a hat?

Well, as shown in newly released GoPro footage from the 2015 SURFER Poll Awards, sometimes it requires getting on a helicopter while still dripping wet from your surf session.

The past winter surf season in Hawaii was one of the best ever. The Eddie ran for the first time in over six years. The first-ever Pe’ahi Challenge big-wave surfing contest was held at Jaws. Almost every week, the Aloha State was producing clips of the best surfers in the world in pumping and often huge waves.

Dave Wassel helicopter to SURFER Poll

Dave Wassel (second from left) showed up just in time for the awards, face still covered in zinc.

And while this is a pretty nice problem to have, winters like that can create logistical issues for surfers. Like, for instance, when you’re professional big-wave surfer Dave Wassel, and you have to surf in the aforementioned Pe’ahi Challenge on Maui in the morning, but also have to host the SURFER Poll Awards at Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu that night.

As seen in the video, left with the seemingly impossible task of getting Wassel across 100-plus miles at the drop of a hat, the folks at SURFER reached out to Paradise Helicopters to help them charter a helicopter in a short time.

With Paradise’s help, Wassel was able to be picked up on Maui and dropped off at Turtle Bay for his hosting duties — all while still sporting zinc on his face from his day surfing Jaws.

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