The Right, Western Australia
Ben Rufus, The Right, Western Australia
One of the "Denmark Lads," Rufus is a regular at The Right, and thusly is well versed on the ideal swell direction and wind conditions to make it turn on. The result is plain to see, Rufus knows where to be when the bombs start shelfing.
When they say a wave has no back, this is what they mean. With water drawing off of the shallow, nearly dry reef, Norris goes below sea level and behind the curtain.
From world tour campaigner to slab hunter, like a number of former ASPers, Morrison's made it a point of being in the right place at the right time.
Always in the mix on the big days, Kerby Brown stalks the west coast of Australia, just waiting to lay back into moments like this.
On The Road
While paddle surfing has come back into vogue, there are still waves out there that require a little jet ski assist. And usually these waves are found breaking on obscure reefs in the middle of nowhere.
Another one of the local boys, Grigson's pioneered many a slab in West Oz. "I just returned from a two month trip in Mexico surfing in boardshorts all day, this was my first surf at home and the water was freezing," says Grigson.
Like a special forces assault team, the crew descends on The Right.
Threading the needle like it's a five-foot day at Margarets River, Ross sets himself up for the backdoor section.
And here's the payoff. Ross, deep behind the peak and, with daylight at the end, about to shift into high gear.
With a clear and defined shoulder, the best strategy for surviving at The Right is simply not to look back. What you can't see can't hurt you ... in theory.
Six hours away from the hospital in Perth, Grigson throws caution to the wind. He would pay the price at the end of the day.
"To add insult to the day, on my last wave I got clipped on the very end section and blew out my knee. If it's anything like last time, a few months on the sidelines is in the cards," copped Grigson.
When it comes to riding waves like this it takes a certain kind of equipment, and that means a lot of time spent in the shaping bay. Tunes and tweaks are made and the refinement process continues.
Calm, cool and collected, Shanahan is actually safety minded. "We recently updated all the safety gear, including a new EPIRB (emergency position-indicating radio beacons signalling maritime distress) just in case."
Morrison, backdooring an "inbetweener."
Doesn't look as scary from behind, just a little lumpy.
High art or object of obsession? Depends on who you are.
Parked on the foam ball and waiting for the payoff, Shanahan puts his seasons of experience at The Right to good use.
Ross, calmly petting the belly of the beast like it's no big deal.