The Big Juice: Epic Tales Of Big Wave Surfing

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Big Juice is a must read for anyone who wants to experience the extreme passion and ultimate terror of riding the world’s biggest waves.”

–Ricky Grigg, former world surfing champion and big wave pioneer

“Punctuated by absolutely stunning photography of these monstrous waves—and the intrepid souls who embrace the challenge of taming them—this is a glimpse into a totally alien world, and the incredible force nature brings to bear. It’s a celebration, a warning, a tribute, a memorial, and a historical document all at once.”

Sacramento Book Review

“A solid collection of big wave anecdotes, [including] an unvarnished, adrenaline-packed narrative from hellman Shane Dorian, recounting one of the most traumatic beatings he ever took while surfing…. Solid, blending surfing entertainment with the simple power of stories about massive swells…. For surfers who enjoy books in the ‘talking story’ genre, you won’t be disappointed by The Big Juice.”









From the Back Cover

More than a decade ago, John Long published his now classic The Big Drop, an unprecedented look at the larger-than-life frontier of big wave surfing. Since then the sport has exploded in popularity. The big wave bar keeps rising as extreme surfers continue to seek out, surf, and survive enormous waves. The incredible stories of a new generation of thrill-seeking, death-defying surfers and stunning photography of monster waves fill the pages of this collection. The Big Juice is a powerful, contemporary look at the men and women who live and breathe for the next big wave and the bigger, more dangerous challenge. Their stories provide a rich history of characters, controversies, heroism, humor, and tragedy that define the sport. Contributors include:
Ben Marcus • Chris Dixon • Kimball Taylor • Rusty Long • Drew Kampion • Tony Harrington  Matt Warshaw • James Hollmer-Cross • Evan Slater • Shane Dorian • Ted Gugelyk • Brad Melekian
Brock Little • Greg Noll • and more

About the Author

John Long is an acclaimed American rock climber and author of more than forty titles, including The Trad Climber’s Bible (FalconGuides). He lives in Venice, California.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


Fifty years ago, pioneering big-wave surfer Buzzy Trent said, “Big waves are not measured in feet and inches, but in increments of fear.”




Up at Mavericks, Peter Mel had surfed two amazing waves and was up on his third when it hit an undersea ledge and jacked vertical, sucking the bottom out of the wave. As the six-story wall of water folded and detonated, Mel simply ducked, covered, and prayed. “It was like I was run over by Niagara Falls,” he says. “I thought it was going to tear the limbs off my body.” His partner Ryan Augenstein rushed in and stopped cold.  The ocean was so churned, the impeller couldn’t get a grip in the foam – like a car spinning its wheels in snow. As another wave bore down, the jet ski suddenly caught, Mel grabbed the sled and the two shot to safety. “It was one of the most amazing saves I’ve ever seen,” Mel says. At 12:30 a rescue team motored out. A crab boat named Good Guys had foundered, its two fishermen lost to the waves.


Down at Ghost Tree, Anthony Ruffo had tow-surfed into four menacing bombs. Peter Davi was determined to tow into at least one wave on his traditional paddleboard. “I’m 45 years old and I want one of the f***ing waves,” he said from the back of Sorensen’s Jet Ski. “Those were the last words I heard him say,” Sorensen says.


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