Video | Justin Holland Shatters Femur In Massive Australian Surf

Standup World Tour competitor Justin Holland is well known for being one of the most frothing SUP surfers on the planet. By outward appearances, the 38-year-old Australian looks to be barely a lick older than 25, his infectious energy reflecting the stoked soul of an everlasting grom. But his nerve—specifically, his willingness to hurl himself into some of the gnarliest waves known to man—are more aptly reflective of the seasoned waterman he’s grown to be. Never have those nerves been showcased more candidly than during Holland’s recent surf session in Western Australia with fellow legendary paddler and big-wave hellman, Jamie Mitchell.

There were “probably the biggest waves ever paddled into in Australia out there,” Mitchell says of Cow Bombies—a notorious big-wave spot near Margret River, Western Australia—where Mitchell and Holland shared an epic paddle/tow session last week. The entire Indian Ocean was in motion that day as the swell-of-the-year plowed into the Indonesian and Western Australian coastlines, producing some of the best, burliest surf footage we’ve seen this decade. Mitchell and Holland spent the majority of their session paddling into quadruple + overhead waves at the gargantuan righthander; waves that detonated into plumes of whitewater so violent and massive they could’ve easily swallowed a Carnival cruise ship whole.

Safe to say, Holland had the biggest wave that day (see 1:57 in the above video), or should we say, the biggest wave of the day had Justin Holland. The wave—easily six- to eight-times overhead—allowed Holland just enough open face to make the drop, then quickly outran him down the gaping shoulder. There was nothing for Holland to do but straighten out and await utter pulverization as the lip exploded at his back.

Holland left that session with a shattered femur, along with limitless bragging rights to tack onto his already impressive resume. And while the experience surely added a level of maturity to Holland’s swagger as a legendary waterman, our guess is it made him look even younger. Surviving a scenario like could only add stoke to the most frothing SUP surfer on the planet.

More SUP surfing footage from Justin Holland.

An essay on the state of big-wave SUP surfing.