A Beloved Rival

At Sunset Beach, Bradshaw appointed himself as a kind of on-the-spot hanging judge. Mess with one of his waves and you'd be chased down afterward and ordered to dismount so that the huge Texan could palm-smash a fin off your board and order you to leave the water. Nobody resisted.

Incredibly, just weeks after Leonard Brady wrote his 1982 "Whatever Happened to Big-Wave Riding?" article for Surfer, the North Pacific let loose with the greatest run of big-wave surf on record—seven huge pulses arrived at one-week intervals from mid-February to early March. One journal-keeping North Shore veteran later reported that the Waimea Bay was 20-feet or bigger 23 times that season, whic...

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