November 26 was a day that will go down in history. It was the day a big wave contest was called off because it was too big. It was probably the right call, at least morally. But from a spectator standpoint, man-oh-man, was it a crushing blow.
The event ramped up to almost unimaginable levels, making every attempt at a wave akin to watching a car wreck—you don’t really want to see what happens, but you just can’t look away. “I think they should have kept running the contest today,” wrote Jaws aficionado Albee Layer on Instagram. “I understand why they didn’t, but if you can quiet the ego a bit there’s a way to surf on a day like today and be relatively careful. But who knows, maybe we would have all got really fucked up and maybe tomorrow will be good, but I kinda doubt it. Surfing’s never a sure thing, especially out there.”
Of course, since it’s Jaws, a contest being called off didn’t matter. The surfing continued as the waves maxed out. There were many standout rides, but one moment, in particular, stood out from the standouts: Kai Lenny’s impossible 20-foot air drop on a wave so big it nearly defied comprehension.