Surfing: Champion of the Heavies

Australian surfers get their kicks on the combers at Sydney's Neilson Park, zipping through shark nets so ragged that they no longer stop sharks, only surfers. At Huntington Beach, Calif., the gasser is "pier shooting" — hurtling between the concrete pilings of a pier. But these pastimes are only makeshift substitutes for riding the "heavies" off Makaha, a lonely beach on the west coast of Oahu that is every surfer's idea of paradise.

The giant waves that pound Makaha are spawned by violent Pacific storms, often 2,000 miles or more from Hawaii. On a really big day they may...

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