It's behind you! Paddle surfer is caught unaware as giant 30ft wave breaks behind him off the coast of Cornwall


Caught out: A monster wave breaks as a paddle-boarder looks on helplessly, unable to avoid the powerful wave crashing towards him

It's known throughout the world as 'The Widow Maker' because of it's notoriety as one of the biggest and most dangerous waves off the coast of Britain.

But this paddle boarder appears unaware that the 30ft wave on Fistral Beach, Newquay, has just broken behind him and is racing towards him with an awesome force that brings surfers from places like Australia and Hawaii.

He was pictured at the Cribbar Reef, half a mile offshore, looking on as the powerful avalanche of water smashed towards him.

The phenomenon is is created when low pressure systems in the Atlantic trigger huge swells which rise up as they pass over a rocky shelf.

A surfer manages to keep his balance as he rides one of the giant waves that is formed off the coast of Newquay thanks to the Cribbar reef

It happens just a handful of times every winter between September and April and amateur photographer Franck Gaugherot, 39, from Newquay, was on hand to capture it's awesome power.

He said: 'It was stunning to see the waves crashing down with such force. The sound it created as the water crashed down on the surf was incredible.

'There were only two who initially went out to take on the 25ft waves. When it died down a little a few more went but it was an incredible display of the force of nature.'

The phenomenon is officially known as 'The Cribbar' but earned the nickname 'The Widow Maker' with local surfers because of the extreme danger of riding it.

It is considered by surf experts to be the UK's biggest wave spot and is well renowned for its volatility, ferocity and power and is only to be taken on by professionals.

The awesome waves only occur a handful of times a year when low pressure systems in the Atlantic trigger huge swells which rise up as they pass over a rocky shelf

The wave became the stuff of legend back in 1966 when three visiting Australian surfers stumbled upon the waves.

Ever since experienced surfers from across the globe have come to take on the challenge.

Fistral beach is well known for its surfing and has held major international surfing competitions in the past while is also home to the British Surfing Association.

Professional surfer Richard Sills last month decided to take on the dangerous challenge of surfing the waves, some reaching 50ft.

The South African, who has won a number of international titles, is pictured riding the breaking wave before emerging from the wall of water still, amazingly, balanced on his board.

Wall of water: South African Richard Sills emerges from the huge wave as it crashed down around him as he took on the challenge

Foamy: Sills lies on his board among the white water that gave a snow like effect as it lay atop the water underneath

source: dailymail


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