©istockphoto/shannonstentThere are some pret­ty gnarly waves in coun­tries all around the world, but only a few of them can tru­ly be defined as killers. Surfers up for a chal­lenge and not afraid of tak­ing risks to flock to them to test out their mor­tal­i­ty. From the U.S. to Africa, these are some of the most dead­ly waves on the planet.

Ours, Cape Fear, New South Wales
Ours is noto­ri­ous for its incred­i­bly shal­low shores and sharp bar­na­cles wait­ing just below the sur­face to tear you limb from limb. If you’re unlucky enough to nose­dive under the surf you’ll either wind up shred­ded or dead. If you some­how man­age to make it back up above the water you’ll be greet­ed by eight-foot waves with four-foot lips wait­ing to plow you into the wait­ing boul­ders. Basi­cal­ly, you don’t want to fall off if you val­ue your life.

Pipeline, Oahu
Pipeline has end­ed the lives of more surfers than most oth­er spots com­bined. The odd thing is, you don’t real­ly have much to wor­ry about with the big swells here, but more so when the swells are just start­ing to build. They tend to come on quick­ly and dou­ble over, cre­at­ing a rapid suc­ces­sion of waves that are hard to over­come. They’ll pull you under and keep you there if you don’t have the skill or smarts to stay afloat. Despite claim­ing the most lives of any pop­u­lar surf­ing spot, thou­sands of peo­ple still flock here each year.

Teahupo’o, Tahi­ti
Teahupo’o has earned a rep­u­ta­tion as one of the most sav­age waves in the world not because of its height, but due to the thick­ness. The wells come out of deep waters off the shore with­out a con­ti­nen­tal shelf to help cut them down, so the mon­strous wave here is often thick­er than it is tall. If you go down, expect to stay there awhile. The break usu­al­ly occurs just a few feet over­top the coast’s live coral reef. Only one per­son has been killed here, but if you allow your­self to be pulled back into the reef you’re like­ly a goner too. The name Teahupo’o loose­ly trans­lates to “chop the head” for a reason.

Mav­er­icks, Red Tri­an­gle, North­ern California
The Red Tri­an­gle of north­ern Cal­i­for­nia is sup­pos­ed­ly named for the red waters that appear around the numer­ous great white sharks that fre­quent the area, so the sto­ry goes. While you don’t def­i­nite­ly want to tan­gle with those beasts, the real dan­ger at Mav­er­icks is the low tide. After the waves here man­aged to cut short the life of surfing’s biggest heroes, Mark Foo, it was dis­cov­ered that dur­ing low tide the waves here have the strength to hold surfers under so long they’re like­ly to drown before com­ing back up for air.

Dun­geons, Cape Town
Dun­geons got its name by hold­ing one local under the water for two con­sec­u­tive 25-foot waves that he felt like there was no escape from. The size of the surf here isn’t even the biggest prob­lem; it also holds such quirks as giant under­wa­ter boul­ders, freez­ing waters and hold-downs more aggres­sive than almost any oth­er spot in the world. The cher­ry on the top is the mas­sive swarms of sharks that patrol the area look­ing for a meal. These guys aren’t just con­tent to lie in wait, either; the great whites here like to breach the sur­face and have a snack in midair.

Update: The event has been called off due to lack of swell today.

For the first time since 2009, the pres­ti­gious big-wave invi­ta­tion­al in hon­or of Eddie Aikau is set to go off. Con­di­tions per­mit­ting, the event will hap­pen today, Feb­ru­ary 10th, 2016, mak­ing it just the 9th time this event has run in its 31 year history.


Each year the event can take place at a moments notice dur­ing its Decem­ber to Feb­ru­ary hold­ing peri­od, as long as waves reach a strict min­i­mum of 20ft, yield­ing approx­i­mate­ly 40ft wave faces. The event hon­ors the late Eddie Aikau, who was not only a world renowned big-wave surfer but also the first offi­cial life­guard at Waimea Bay on the North Shore of Oahu. Dur­ing his tenure at Waimea Bay not one life was lost in the water. The phrase “Eddie Would Go” was coined rec­og­niz­ing his courage for pad­dling out into dan­ger­ous con­di­tions both as a surfer and res­cuer. This year’s spe­cial invi­tees com­pet­ing in his hon­or include big names like John John Flo­rence, Kel­ly Slater, and Clyde Aikau. Event times and con­di­tions are sub­ject to change, so check out the links below for the most up-to-date infor­ma­tion and the live stream. Mahalo!

Live Stream: http://www.worldsurfleague.com/

Learn More: http://quiksilver.com/surf/events/eddie-aikau/

2015/2016 Trail­er:

When non-surfers ask surfers if they are afraid of sharks, the surfer will invari­ably say no. Most of the time, this is a per­fect­ly log­i­cal response. How­ev­er, there are some loca­tions – world class surf loca­tions – where a lack of shark wor­ry requires a con­gres­sion­al lev­el of cog­ni­tive dis­so­nance. Here are five great places to ignore statistics.

South­ern Africa
South Africa is a sharky place. Cape Town is full of great whites, Dur­ban is full of tiger sharks and zam­bezis (bull sharks), and the coast around Jeffrey’s Bay has a lit­tle bit of every­thing. South Africa’s East coast and Namib­ia aren’t much bet­ter. In fact in most places, you’re more like­ly to see a man­gled seal car­cass on the beach than anoth­er per­son. What about Mozam­bique? Moz’s emp­ty sand points are only home to one of the largest pop­u­la­tions of tiger sharks in the world. Unfor­tu­nate­ly for your brit­tle psy­che, South­ern Africa is home to Jeffrey’s Bay, Skele­ton Bay, New Pier, and a host of oth­er world-class spot. When these spots are fir­ing, no one is think­ing about fins. You prob­a­bly won’t get eat­en, right?

Recife, Brazil had so many shark attacks on surfers that the gov­ern­ment actu­al­ly banned surf­ing at that par­tic­u­lar beach. Even if you don’t surf Racife (why would you?) it’s pret­ty safe to say that sharks inhab­it oth­er stretch­es of Brazil’s beau­ti­ful coast­line. You’re still going to surf it though, con­sid­er­ing Brazil gets some of the world’s great­est waves.

Gold Coast Aus­tralia
This coast has more qual­i­ty surf per square mile and more surfers per capi­ta than almost any­where else on earth. It also has lots and lots of great whites and bull sharks. But hey, there is safe­ty in num­bers — you don’t have to be faster than the shark, you just have to be faster than the guy next to you.

The islands are beau­ti­ful. The surf is spec­tac­u­lar. The cul­ture is amaz­ing. The sharks are plen­ti­ful. Peo­ple don’t think of sharks when they think of Hawaii, but attacks do hap­pen. That said, get­ting punched in the face for being an a‑hole is more like­ly than get­ting chomped on by a tiger shark, but surfers should still be on the look­out for lurk­ing shadows.

Unless it’s hur­ri­cane sea­son you’re prob­a­bly not going to trav­el to Flori­da to surf. How­ev­er, if you live there, or you end up there, as a surfer, you’ll prob­a­bly be out on the water. Flori­da is warm and con­sis­tent and while it’s not a ter­ri­ble place to be a surfer, it is the shark attack capi­tol of the coun­try. Flori­da had 26 attacks in 2012 but real­ly, the sharks in the Sun­shine State prob­a­bly wont kill you. An attack is more like­ly to pro­duce a cool scar and a cool sto­ry than it is to take a limb. Still, you need to ask your­self, is that waist high close­out real­ly worth it?