First swell of the season hits Hawaii as the North Pacific comes alive

The first proper Northwest groundswell of the season hit Hawaii yesterday, and if the first reports are any indication of the season to come, we’re in for a barnburner.

The massive size of the swell, coupled with abnormally light trade winds, made for one of the best big-wave paddle sessions ever witnessed at Peahi on Maui. The cast of characters on hand represented some of the finest big-wave surfers of our time: Greg Long, Nathan Fletcher, Ian Walsh, Albee Layer, Matt Meola, Mark Healy, Billy Kemper, and Shane Dorian, who caught the two waves below, one of which even he called the “best wave he’s ever caught.” Dorian flew from his home on the Big Island over to Ian Walsh’s North Shore Maui compound to greet the swell, which didn’t peak until late Tuesday afternoon.

Albee Layer posted the photo at right on Instagram with the caption: “Wave of my life and Kai Barger with the claim.” Video below.

Albee Layer’s “Wave of my life”.