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Juxtaposing The Heaviness Of Nathan Beschen’s Cavernous Romp At Teahupoo With Laird Hamilton’s Millennium Wave

A lot of things can happen in 22 years. The excitement of something new more than two decades ago sometimes gets dulled in the memory banks.

The first news story that crossed my path this morning was how, on Wednesday, Nathan Beschen caught a deep, cylindrical monster of a wave at Teahupoo on his very first time of trying tow surfing. I watched the accompanying video from and was astounded.

Of course, I immediately recalled how Kauai’s Laird Hamilton broke barriers of what was possible at Teahupoo in 2000, when he seemingly defied the laws of physics at the very same spot, somehow making it through the needle of the barrel while situated on a massive wall of water that was trying to suck him upwards and spit him with a menacing maw of lip pitching out all around him.

And so it was natural today to also take a look back at Laird’s surf-world shattering “Millennium Wave” from Aug. 17, 2000. That wave basically blew the minds of big-wave hunters and chroniclers all over the Earth, and, in the video below, you can see the wonderment in the faces big-wave pioneers Greg Noll and Pat Curren, Surfer Magazine co-founder Steve Pezman and noted surf historian Matt Warshaw as they explain its significance.

Laird Hamilton’s Millennium Wave.

Beschen’s wave, courtesy of, won’t match Hamilton as a groundbreaking iconic effort.

But, oh boy, how deep and heavy and cavernous can you get over there in French Polynesia?

From this vantage point (watching online), it’s hard to say which wave is deeper or which wave is pitching out farther. But it does look like Hamilton’s wave stays open just a bit longer to show viewers its overall majesty. However, at crunch time (the immense spit coming from the vortex just before the lip comes down) Beschen appears to have to deal with much more of a maelstrom to make it out unscathed.

Make sure to look at the third of three different vantage points of Beschen’s wave, which is the only one that shows he made it out and kicked over back into the lineup.

See the Surfline story (by Marcus Sanders) and video (by Keanu Moux and Tim McKenna) of Beschen’s wave by CLICKING RIGHT HERE.

A full-on comparison of the two waves was not the intent here. It is more of an enjoyment and celebration of both.

And while we’re at it, here is another one for your viewing pleasure, that, as the YouTube title suggests, may be the biggest wave successfully ridden at Teahupoo. It’s by Matahi Drollet on Aug. 13, 2021.

Matahi Drollet at Teahupoo on Aug. 13, 2021.


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