"Get out there and face your fears."
Brad Domke is smashing world records like no one else has. Whether he’s in Tahiti skimboarding waves that would make most surfers cry, or earning a “Wipeout of the Year” nomination by cheating death on Cyclops in Western Australia, Brad Domke is carving his mark in the surfing world in a way it’s never been done: On a finless skimboard. To understand why there is no one else quite like Brad Domke, let’s follow his path to the furthest corners of the planet, and reflect on the key accomplishments that make him a skimboarding legend.
“Wipeout of the Year” on Cyclops in Australia
When you wipeout so big someone nominates you for an award, you know it was serious. Such was the case at the aptly named, Cyclops in Western Australia. Cyclops sounds intimidating, and by all accounts, it is one of the deadliest waves in the world. To surf Cyclops, you have to take a boat out to the location just to fight exceptionally powerful waves that will viciously slam you to the coral. Before some of Brad Domke’s epic successes at Tahiti and Nazare, he attempted the deathtrap known as Cyclops on a finless skimboard in 2014, and earned a “Wipeout of the Year” award from XXL
Wabasso, Florida: Where it all Began
Growing up around Florida has certain perks for those who love the beach. It’s here where Brad gained immense skills in various board sports, including wakeboarding, surfing, and skateboarding. Although highly-competent at each of those other sports, Brad’s true skill lies in being the most daring and skilled skimboarder the world has ever seen. This reputation has been hard earned, and is mostly derived from his tendency to conquer enormous waves on an extremely simple, finless skimboard. Training on the beaches of Florida played a key role in preparing Brad for taming other, more beastly waves throughout the world, like the ones in Tahiti and Portugal.
Puerto Escondido: Biggest Wave Ever Skurfed
The term “skurfing” is a hybrid of skimboarding and surfing that was invented by Brad to describe the act of taking on big waves on a skimboard. If you’ve never heard of skurfing, don’t feel bad – Brad Domke is practically the only one on Earth who has mastered it. No matter your connection to surfing, anyone with a pulse will be mesmerized by Domke riding this skyscraper of a wave on nothing but a finless skimboard. The judges at Billabong were also impressed, and nominated Brad’s epic feat as “Ride of the Year”, an award often reserved for surfers.
Conquered Teahupoo on a Skimboard
Sports involving the ocean have an inherent element of danger, and this applies 100 times more when referring to Teahupoo. Located in Tahiti, Teahupoo is for expert surfers only, as those who weren’t ready for its power have ended up injured or worse due to the extreme weight of the waves, and the sharp bed of coral that awaits at the bottom. That’s why the world was shocked when Domke rode his finless skimboard perfectly into a massive barrel at Teahupoo, maintaining perfect control and emerging unscathed. Showing that he can handle one of the world’s most vicious waves with relative ease on his skimboard earned massive respect for Domke, in addition to yet another nom from Billabong for best ride of the year.
Brad Rides Enormous Wave in Nazare, Portugal
If you’re hanging out at home in Florida and get news of legendary swells approaching in Portugal, what do you do? If you’re Brad Domke, you get on a plane, and are skimboarding enormous waves within hours of landing. The latest of Brad’s exploits had him traveling to the ancient European city to take on what many consider to be the world’s biggest waves. Nazare was first put on the map when elite Hawaiian surfer, Garrety McNamara, was recorded riding a wave that may have exceeded 100 feet. Knowing that, it’s easy to understand the shock to the surfing world when Brad Domke shows up with a five-foot long, finless skimboard and masterfully handles arguably the biggest known wave on the planet. The ride also helped Domke start next year right, with a 2016 Nomination for Billabong Ride of the Year.
Meeting of Masters: Brad and Jamie O’Brien show their skills in Mexico
Not just anyone could swap boards with Brad, and hold their own on the relentless waves of Mexico, except Jamie O’Brien. O’Brien is an extremely popular star of his own surf show, boundary-pushing pioneer, and surf-god in his own right. Only elite surfers take on Teahupoo, and Brad stunned the world when he rode Teahupoo on his skimboard, and Jamie blew minds by setting his board ablaze before conquering it. When these two met for a wild surf session in Mexico, one of the greatest surf compilations in decades was born. Jamie tries his luck at skurfing on Brad’s finless skimboard and catches some solid waves, and then seconds later when Brad jumps on Jamie’s board, reminding the world that his surfing skills are nothing short of world class.
The Impact of Brad Domke
Everyone wants to be good at something, but what happens when you’re so good, you start altering what people thought possible? No longer satisfied to abide by skimboarding conventions, Brad Domke thought big. As if he had a Kill Bill-style hit list of the most impressive waves on the planet, Brad and his finless skimboard have slayed each one, strengthening his fan base, earning respect, and picking up some major surf nominations along the way. Brad has accomplished huge things in the last two years, and people are watching, listening, and paying attention. Anytime you see someone charging out into the ocean with their skimboard to catch big waves like a surfer, there is only one man to thank for it.
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