On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, Shane Dorian paddled into a monster swell at Jaws and ended up surfing the best wave of his life. He flew down the face, over an air bubble that almost knocked him down, and raised his arms in triumph once in the barrel—until he realized he had a lot more surfing to do. Eventually, he emerged from the wave's spray standing up and soon garnered an early entry into the 2013 Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards.
Video of Dorian's physical feat made the rounds not just because of the wave's size, but because of the wave's shape. He had just surfed a barrel that a decade ago surfers rode into on boards with foot straps while being towed by jet skis. He paddled in under his own power on a board with no straps and handled a bump while skating down the face at high speed. In the video above, he breaks down his ride, step by step.