"They don’t understand what it truly means to bodysurf a real wave. I describe to these people (mostly friends from the mainland) what it’s like to paddle out into the heavy surf at Pipeline when it’s double overhead and the rip just pulls you over towards the lifeguard stand (which is 100 yards away) in a matter of seconds.
I tell them how hollow the barrels are at Waimea as I drop into them, how you could easily fit two buses stacked on top of each other inside of the barrel. I try to explain what it’s like to duck dive a 20ft wave at Pipe while trying not to panic, which is nearly impossible. I illustrate with my arms that you see this mountain of a wave coming towards you and you see the lineup hauling ass to get over it before it breaks – you better swim as fast as you can before it lands on you.
Most of the time, I will swim to the bottom and hold onto the reef so I won’t get sucked up and shredded to pieces while the massive mountain of a wave roars above my head. A good bodysurfer will jump on the opportunity to catch the wave and ride it as far as he can before the face will eventually catch up to you and swallow you up. This is bodysurfing."