The 2017 Red Bull Heavy Water went down in San Francisco last week and it certainly lived up to its name. With a powerful northwest swell bringing waves in excess of 15 feet, the paddlers had their work cut out for them as they attempted to paddle in and out of the washing machine known as Ocean Beach.
Some paddlers–like eventual race winner Casper Steinfath–chose the right lines and made it out relatively unscathed. For others–like star paddlers Kai Lenny and Connor Baxter–their efforts were repeatedly foiled by a constant barrage of furious whitewater and strong currents.
This video from Clay Island gives us the best perspective yet at the chaos that transpired inside the surf zone. Kai Lenny gets pounded in the impact zone at the 3:30 mark, you’ll see paddlers ride monster waves on their 12’6″ boards and a few even catch a wave under the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Once you press play, we guarantee you won’t be able to look away.