Ask most surfers what their ideal wave would look like and they'd probably say 10 to 12 feet tall, with a nice steady break, so that they can ride along the inside of the rolling wave. That wave would look like a wall of water about twice the height your average sized person. Now, imagine a surfer describing their ideal wave as 30, 40, or even 70 feet tall. That wave would be a monolithic, fast moving wall of water with the power to destroy anything in its path.
Those are the waves that surfer Laird Hamilton and his friends seek out. They fly out to the middle of the ocean in search of rogue waves. These isolated monsters have the combined power of several smaller waves. They've been measured at 100 feet tall, and for many generations their existence was only rumored. Today they're not only known, but surfable by the world's bravest surfers.
Author and journalist Susan Casey decided she wanted to immerse herself in that world, so that she might grasp the desire to surf the giants of the ocean, even at the risk of death.
Surfer Laird Hamilton and author Susan Casey.