Case of The Mondays: Major Jet Ski Fail at Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic


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OK, yeah we know, it’s not Monday. Yesterday was a national holiday and time got away from us. Anyhow, in this week’s Case of The Mondays, we revel in that which is the ever popular “fail video” but this one, much more than a compilation of people being hit in the genitals, is actually quite terrifying when you consider what is actually happening here:

On January 7th of this year, the Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic was held off of the coast of Oregon, welcoming some of the biggest names in big wave surfing to the Pacific Northwest. As the world’s most talented wave riders converged, the frigid surf was building up, looking to humble a few of these athletes a peg or two.

Of course, when it comes to conditions like these, a surfer’s best friend is the capable tow-in pilot, manning the controls of a well-equipped personal watercraft. Today’s big wave surfers use PWC to not only reach distance offshore breaks, but also be picked up and in the off chance, be scooped up and saved from oncoming surf whenever they find themselves in harm’s way.

Unfortunately, in the video provided, you’ll see one such surfer and his trusty pilot be less than successful in reaching the swell they hoped for. Around 1:50, the lime green runabout is swamped, washing both the driver and surfer from the PWC. While the two tread water in the whitewash, the ski is promptly carried nearly all the way to shore, tumbling over and over in the surf.

Although filmed from a drone, the speed in which the PWC is carried by the wave is both impressive and terrifying, especially if you imagine yourself either as another PWC operator or worse yet, another surfer in its path.

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Kevin Shaw

Kevin Shaw

Editor-in-Chief – kevin.shaw@shawgroupmedia.com Kevin Shaw is a decade-long powersports and automotive journalist whose love for things that go too fast has led him to launching The Watercraft Journal. Almost always found with stained hands and dirt under his fingernails, Kevin has an eye for the technical while keeping a eye out for beautiful photography and a great story.

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