Open Throttle

After Mark Foo’s death, Dateline researchers uncovered a taped interview with Foo, shot not long before he flew to Maverick’s, in which he again stated that he wasn’t afraid to die in big surf, but that he hoped it would be “on a 50-foot wave.” What Dateline and every other media outlet missed in their coverage of Foo’s death was that 50-footers were now, for the first time ever, actually being ridden.

Tow surfing had arrived.

Thirty-foot waves had long been recognized as big-wave surfing’s t...

On a huge day at Pipeline, in 1987, Australian surf journalist Derek Hynd watched an early version of tow surfing. It looked  “funner than a day at Magic Mountain,” he wrote. But it also seemed as if the surfers had “prostituted themselves” for the ride.