Freerider Mitch Young Gets Insanely Barrelled


Years ago, we had the express pleasure of publishing a never-before-shot of Taylor Curtis getting barrelled in paradisaical surf spot Teahupoʻo on his honeymoon. It was a historical shot and we loved being able to play a small part in it. It’s taken nearly six years, but an equally talented freerider, Mitch Young from the Mornington Peninsula, Australia, has mirrored Taylor’s achievement.

Yet, the 28-year-old didn’t have to travel nearly as far. During a particularly big swell in an undisclosed surf spot, Young put his 5 years of freeride experience to the test. The Watercraft Journal got a chance to sit down with Young who shared his experience:

“I have dreamed about getting barrelled on my ski for a while now. With a surfing background, I knew exactly what swell and wind direction I needed for a particular surf spot that is renowned for big hectic barrels. After discussions with mates and keeping an eye on the charts, the date was set and the forecast was perfect.


“The second rescue ski I had lined up pulled out last minute so I organized a rental ski and the morning of the 21st of August, Ducky, Leggett, Jay and myself loaded up all that we needed and headed out off the Sorrento boat ramp. I had my stand jet ski up on my G-Board behind my sitdown jet ski, the trip on the sitdowns out to the break took us an hour to get to. Once there, Mitch the camera man jumps in and the wave turned on.

“I undertook a number of approaches to the wave until I found one that worked, not every wave did what I needed it to do, so I had to pick the right one which was proving difficult. Once I committed to a wave it was way too steep, there was no turning back. Myself and Jay had to go way out the back and put the standup back on the G-Board to refuel; it was a challenge but we got pretty good at it.

“The day was perfect, the sun was out, big sets on the horizon and dolphins in the distance. Finally, after a few attempts, I managed to get a couple of perfect waves and found myself as I dreamed, inside the barrel! I have never put my ski in such a critical position in the wave before, especially a wave of this size and magnitude.

“Once we got the shot and I was still in one piece we called it a day. Thanks to all that helped out that day without each and everyone of you this wouldn’t of been possible. A big thanks to my sponsors Jetpilot, Krash Industries, AJSP, ATP, Dasa for there continued support.”

The shots included in this article come courtesy of Mitchell Nibbs. Although Nibbs was kind enough to provide us with these few shots, larger full-resolution versions are available by emailing

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Kevin Shaw

Editor-in-Chief – 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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