Palmateer takes on huge break in Hawaii

Fierce waves: Felicity Palmateer at the Peahi Challenge. Photo: World Surfing League, Lynton.
Fierce waves: Felicity Palmateer at the Peahi Challenge. Photo: World Surfing League, Lynton.

Margaret Rivers’ Felicity Palmateer has braved injury and taken on some of the biggest waves in the world at the Pe'ahi Challenge invitational event in Hawaii.

This is the second year she has been invited to compete in the prestigious event and the huge swell came in very early in the Hawaiian season.

Palmateer had been recovering from a MCL tear in her right leg but decided to compete anyway by strapping up the knee and charging.

When asked about getting the call up to compete she said: “It's obviously really cool to be considered among the best female big wave surfers in the world, that's a real honour for sure, and I think there would be few other surf events that receive such attention and recognition”.

The 50-foot waves sound like thunder from the channel and the event is held on the picturesque island of Maui which handles the large swells.

“There's so much going on,” Palmateer said.

“Boats everywhere, jet skis buzzing about, people hooting, the noise from the helicopter which is above you, the waves themselves are incredibly loud ... it's pretty surreal.”

Palmateer had a special pink board shaped for the contest and caught three waves in the warm up session before paddling into a bomb during her final which snapped the board in half.

She was held under by the monster wave and had to use her inflatable vest to help her get to the surface quicker, then the jet ski picked her up from the impact zone.

So how does she prepare for these XXL waves?

“I spend lots of time underwater! I train at Elevation on the Gold Coast. A lot of my preparation is simply being as fit as I can, plus when I can I'll do some underwater drills in the pool. Basically you're trying to recreate long hold downs, or any situation where you're pushed to your limits,” Palmateer said from Hawaii.

After being part of surfing history it's back to business for Felicity as she fly's back to Sydney in preparation for the final World Tour Qualifying event this weekend.


In regards to last week’s article about the WA Boardriders finals we'd like to confirm the Yallingup Boardriders finished in second place in the state rankings for 2017 ahead of Trigg, Cowaramup and Geralton Boardriders.


Lots of offshores!

Looking good for Thursday with east-south-easterly winds and a two-metre swell.

Friday and Saturday drop off with a small 1.3m swell but super clean easterly winds.

Sunday might have a little bump but still small and clean easterly winds.


This week’s hotspot will be Yalls on Thursday.