When the sea conditions are as extreme as those shown the video below, surfers actually risk their own life. Dangers are multiple: they can be held underwater by two or more consecutive waves or even crash into rocks, not to mention the various risks associated with sea bottoms, streams and undertows.
The paradise on earth can therefore become a liquid hell when things go downhill for surfers.
Fortunately, they have their own guardian angels. They ride on powerful jet skis and are always ready to gallop to the rescue. Here are those who joined the last Red Bull Cape Fear, the highly dangerous surfing competition held every year in Sydney, Australia.
By the way, how heavy is a breaker? In other words, how big is the mass of water that can engulf a surfer when he suffers a wipeout? It is certainly massive if we consider that a cubic metre of water is equal to one ton. In addition, according to physics, a breaker engenders a pressure that ranges from 1,220 to 29,294 Kg per square metre. Variability arises from water saltiness, the height, thickness and depth of the wave, the wind and the wave speed that, especially in the event of 20-meter waves, can reach more than 40 knots (this is why big wave surfers are towed into big waves by jet skis).
In one concrete example, a 10-meter wave with a 20-meter breaking front can overwhelm a surfer with a weight equal to 410 tons, which is the equivalent of a 45-meter motor megayacht. “Smaller” waves are not less dangerous: a 50 cm wave with a 1-meter-long front , for example, weights 500 Kg.