The first big swell of the season hit Jaws this week, and surfers lined up to catch giants breaking off the north coast of Maui, Hawaii. Shane Dorian had perhaps the best showing Tuesday, when he paddled into two big barrels. While Jaws gained fame as a wave that riders towed into using a jet ski, a group of surfers now paddles into the wave. Both of Dorian's rides became early entries for the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards.
You may have noticed that Dorian's upper body looks pretty thick. He's wearing an inflatable wetsuit that he helped invent, called the Billabong Vertical Ascent 1. If he wipes out and goes under, he can pull a shoulder-mounted rip cord and his suit will inflate with air, pulling him to the surface. It's the surfing equivalent of the avalanche airbag used by skiers.
For more on Dorian's invention, watch the video below and check out Chris Dixon's article, "Courage in a Canister," in our November Issue, on newsstands now.