Worst Wipeout with Brazilian hell-man Dudu Pedra
It takes pure guts to throw yourself down a moving mountain, particularly the ones that El Fronton tends to serve up on the reg. When surfing there is always an element or inkling of self-preservation lingering in your sub-conscious. This quality however seems to be muted in riders like Brazilian Dudu Pedra, who in the heat of competition dropped into this mess without a second thought. We spoke to the man himself about how and why? this clip came to be…
Words by Dudu Pedra.
“It was always a dream of mine to surf El Fronton. Living in Brazil though, makes it very expensive to travel to the Canary Islands, so I’ve always prioritized trips to places like Mexico and Chile instead.
I’ve never been one for competition, instead always opting to chase swells. In 2016 though, I was in Hawaii and was lucky enough to get a wildcard into the Pipe event, where I ended up making the semi-final. After that I thought, “Maybe this year I’ll try and mix my free-surfing with a few other events on the World Tour” since Arica, Nazare and Fronton were still to come.
I ended up chasing the tour that year, and toward the end of 2016 I was ranked in the top 24, and my dream of surfing El Fronton was beginning to look like it may become a reality.
By the end of the year, I had finally made it El Fronton, and after making my first few heats I was getting a good feel for the wave. My next heat was a man-on-man heat with Uri Valadao. I feel he is one of the best competitive surfers in the world and he knows El Fronton like few others. My strategy was to try and wait for the bigger ones to secure a few high scores. Unfortunately, Uri can pull of a high score on almost any size wave.
There was 2 minutes left on the clock, I held priority and I needed an 8 to move into first. I looked to the horizon and saw a big set approaching, I knew that I had to go for it. As the wave formed it started looking ugly, but it was either hand over the heat to Uri or paddle the thing and try for a miracle.
As I was free-falling, lips and steps were forming beneath me. It was a blatant closeout. I wasn’t thinking of the miracle score anymore, instead just having overwhelming feelings of wanting to survive this thing. The wave pinned me in a shallow spot on the shelf. I put my arms over my head before being dragged along the bottom to the inside. Luckily for me I only knocked my shoulder and leg, nothing serious.
I managed to reach the channel with a couple of seconds left in the heat, but that was the end of the road for me.
That’s my worst wipeout to date, but as they say, ‘You have to pay to play’ and I feel I’ve paid my dues.”
Dudu would like to thank the following brands for their support:
Kamona Surf Shop
Ceu & Mar