El Niño Sessions # 3 /Kurt Rist / Full Circle

We caught up with Kurt Rist for a quick mid-winter check up. Last time we talked a couple months ago, (New Chapter with Kurt Rist) he wanted to change it up this year and possibly surf Mavericks, Todos Santos, Oregon and Jaws. Well they’ve all been checked off the list. Let’s see where he is at now:

NYSEA – So Kurt, you drove cross-country with your girlfriend to chase El Nino. Looks like that was an epic call. Which waves did you end up surfing along your travels ?

Kurt – I surfed everything from big wave spots like Todos Santos, Mavericks, Jaws & Oregon to beach breaks, point breaks and slabs. I pretty much got it all. Stoked !

NYSEA – Out of all those spots, which trip was the best for you ?

Kurt – My best trip was Oregon. I loved it because it was uncrowded and had a variety of waves from heavy slabs to outer big wave reefs. I got to work on my paddle game and a couple huge tow barrels.

NYSEA – A couple weeks ago you surfed Mavericks for the first time, rumor has it went really well. Take us through that wave ?

NYSEA – I showed up to Mavericks on what they are saying was pretty much one of the best days ever. It was really crowded, really heavy and to be honest I was overwhelmed. I sat in the lineup for 2 to 3 hours and really didn’t want to drop in on anyone and didn’t feel like sharing a wave. So I just kept waiting and decided to sit a little further outside. Finally a set swang right to me. The wave basically chose me and I had no other choice but to go. It felt like one of the best drops I ever had, I was so stoked. I felt like I kinda cheated the session though, because I didn’t eat it at all I just caught one wave, made it and went in.

NYSEA – To us that’s not cheating, that’s accomplishing. Mavericks is no joke from what we’ve heard so congrats on that wave. You checked a lot of boxes off the list this winter and got a taste of some new big wave spots. Which spot do you see yourself spending more time at ? Which one’s calling your name ?

Kurt – For me I thought Jaws was the most unique and best big wave spot. That wave has so much character and in time it has more potential to produce the best big waves. For me, I’m really looking for more of a ride or barrel instead of big drop, and I feel like Jaws is that wave. It can really offer the ride of your life.

NYSEA – Thanks Kurt. Godspeed !

10 years ago Kurt started pushing himself into bigger waves when he moved out to Maui. Since then he’s been spending his time in the North Atlantic chasing huge cold waves. Now, a decade later, Kurt falls in love with Maui’s most famous big wave spot, Pe’ahi – also known as Jaws. Talk about coming full circle.

Follow Kurt on Instagram HERE

Watch Kurt’s Mavericks Wave in slow motion HERE / 48 seconds in

Photos by Audrey Lambidakis , DriftWoodfoto , Asaya Brusa , Tow SurferDavid Sterman & Mark McInnis.