Dave Wassel has experienced plenty in the realm of big wave, tow-in surfing. Being well-versed in this particularly dangerous type of surfing, it stands to reason that he should know and practice the safest and most respectful ways to ride these beasts. That said, it looks like Dave brought a knife to a fist fight when he was towed into a wave that others were paddling.
However, the right of way is not so easy to determine in this clip as it’s unclear whose turn it was. Obviously, Wassel was on the wave first, which makes John Duval’s drop in look pretty spiteful. At the same time, it’s not very difficult to get in first when you’re being dragged by a motor rather than propelled by your feet and a pair of flippers. Whose fault this is is irrelevant. It’s a matter of respect, which, as we know, is a big deal in Tahiti as well as plenty of other places around the world. Whether or not either of the two exercised said respect is debatable.
One thing that did catch my eye (it was incredibly difficult to ignore) was his series of demonstrative gestures with a machete. Standing on the Tahitian side of the fence, it could be easy to assume that waving this long blade around while constantly sharpening it, smiling menacingly and creepily laughing could look a tad threatening. But maybe he’s just starving and can’t wait to dig into that tuna. It does look delicious all dead and bloody on the picnic table. Mmmmm.
On the flip side, here‘s John Duval on what happened that day. After seeing both sides, how do you interpret this situation?