Already with a lifetime of incredible achievements, accolades, and experiences, Hawaii’s Makua Rothman surfed the wave of a lifetime this past weekend on Maui.
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The former World Surf League Big Wave Champion successfully rode a wave on Saturday, estimated by onlookers as up to 100 feet high at the world famous Jaws break at Pe’ahi.
“That’s definitely a wave of a lifetime. I’ve caught a few wave of a lifetimes now,” Rothman told KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello with a laugh.
Rothman already owns the world record for biggest wave ever surfed at 66 feet, which he accomplished in 2002 at the age of 18 which also took place at Jaws. Although an individual experience of riding the wave, Rothman says the wave is shared with everyone that was out there including good friend, Maui’s Billy Kemper who suggested they hit the water that day.
“To be out there with Kai Lenny, Ian Walsh, all the hammers of this generation right now and come back safely to their families, that’s a successful day to me and regardless of what size the wave is, the size of everybody’s heart is way more than 100 feet. To be a part of that brotherhood with all those guys and to do what we do is special.”
When asked to describe what goes through his mind when charging a wave of that size, Rothman kept it simple.
“Don’t fall,” Rothman said laughing. “It’s something that we train for. Something that mentally, physically is one thing. Mentally is a whole another ball game. Anybody that has been to the top of the game can tell you that. First physical shape and then the upmost is the mental shape. Just knowing where to go and what lines to pick. That wave was really bumpy, really bouncy. The winds, that thing just grew and it was just a monsters it came out of nowhere.”
“The feeling is you just want to make that ride. You want to make sure that you are precision. You want to be laser guided and all the preparation is usually what leads up to making a wave like that.”
The official height of the wave will be determined later by officials, but the North Shore native is confident that his current world record will be challenged by the skyscraper of a wave from last week.
“Just like the wave back in 2003 it was I didn’t really know until later when I seen pictures and stuff. It’s just doing this my whole life it’s just, it’s going to sound funny but it’s just another wave you know what o mean? It’s what I love to do so it just feels like home. It feels like where I should be. I personally didn’t think any of my waves were any bigger than anyone else’s until I actually seen the pictures and that’s usually how it goes down,” said Rothman. “The people that measure it, they’re going to come up with a number regardless of what it is. Like I said, it’s more measured by the comradery. The day that was shared with my friends out there.”
Already a winner of a Billabong XXL Award, Rothman has put himself in a strong position to add another trophy to the mantle, but if you think that means he’ll lay-off of world record potential giants, you must not know Makua Rothman.
“I want to get a barrel on one of those rides,” Rothman said laughing.
All joking aside, Rothman’s achievement is one that will garner world-wide attention but he hopes that with the oohs and ahs will also come with an appreciation for what is possible.
“The message that I would like to send with that wave is believe in yourself. If you believe, you can achieve. There’s no honor in no attempt and there’s great honor in s failed attempt. Just believe in yourself and you can do it. You put the hard work and dedication and things like this happens. So. Self belief. Believe you can. That’s the message I want to send out there.”
Beyond his legendary surfing success and presence in the community Rothman is also an accomplished musician. His album Sound Wave debuted as the #1 Billboard World Album on iTunes and peaked as the #1 Billboard Reggae Album on December 28, 2013.