Justine Dupont Pushing the Limits of Women’s Surfing

January 21, 2021 0

On January 16, 2021, we witnessed French surfer Justine Dupont pushing the limits of women’s surfing in Maui during one of the biggest swells of the decade.

Surfers can tell in advance where and when the waves are going to arrive due to modern day weather forecast. Thanks to this technology, the best big wave surfers of the world travel the planet in search of the biggest waves to ride.

This past Saturday, the place to be for those “chargers” was definitely Pe’ahi also known as Jaws, in Maui.

The French Big Wave Rider Justine Dupont did not miss the appointment with the giants. She came back to Maui to get her revenge after a bad accident at Jaws in 2018, and this time she managed to tame the beast!

In today’s blog we will explain firstly why this wave is so special, secondly how to go watch it and finally how Justine Dupont was Pushing the Limits of Women’s Surfing

1-What is so special about Jaws

-Growth Of Tow-In Surfing

First of all, Jaws is where Big Wave surfing went to a whole new level with the start of “tow-in”.
The bigger the waves are, the faster they go. The faster they go, the faster you need to be in order to catch them!

This wave gets so big that sometimes paddling into it is not even an option anymore. Pioneers like Laird Hamilton started to tow each other into the waves with a boat!

Before starting Tow-In at Jaws they had some practice on the North Shore of Oahu. However it was definitely at Jaws that this discipline grew and became famous.

Not only the wave of Jaws birthed Tow-In Surfing, but it is also the most “perfect” Big Wave ever.

-The Most Perfect Giant Wave

There are other waves in the world as tall as Pe’ahi, like Mavericks or Nazare. The big difference of Pe’ahi is that this wave gets so perfect that it allows surfers to enter deep inside of the barrels and also make it out!

Not only when you surf Pe’ahi are you surfing one of the biggest waves in the world, but there is a chance that you will catch the biggest barrel in the planet!

Rare are the surfers who get behind the water curtain in Peahi as it is extremely dangerous. Most of them rather play it “safe” by staying away from this critical zone.

However, this past Saturday, Peahi was ON. And Justine Dupont marked the day by Pushing the Limits of Women’s Surfing.

2-How to go watch Pe’ahi

-From the Water

You could stay in the comfort of your sofa and just watch the best waves of the day online. But trust me, sitting on the Cliff or even on a boat and watching Jaws will give you goosebumps and an adrenaline rush that no screen can provide.

First, you need to come to Maui during the winter, when the big swell of the North Pacific hits the North shores of the Hawaiian Islands.

Then, if you have some good connections, you can jump onto a boat in Kahului Harbor to go see the waves breaking from very close. Usually only surfers, rescue teams and photographers sit in the channel.

We recommend watching the waves from land to make room for the safety teams and professionals.

-From Land


The easiest, safest and most respectful option is to watch these waves from the cliff or the beach.

To get there you will need a four wheeler, or some strong legs to hike down the muddy road. The hike to get to the cliff takes about 45 minutes from the road to Hana in Haiku. You can also find some shuttle trucks that will take you to the viewpoint for a small fee.

You will not find anything on this cliff. Make sure to bring water, food and sunscreen. We also recommend binoculars to watch the show.

It is amazing to see the hoard of photographers and spectators on the cliffs. From this point of view you will see all the action, not only the waves ridden, but also the few unridden monsters.

Seeing everything live is very different. You share emotions of fear, joy, stress and relief at the same time as the surfers, safety team and other spectators.

Watching from the cliff makes you realize how long the surfers stay underwater and what wonderful work the safety and rescue team is doing.

3-What happened last Saturday

-Surfers Made the show

zane schweitzer jaws

The forecast announced one of the biggest swells of the decade on January 16th, 2021.
About 40 foot faces in the morning with light winds-ideal for paddling into the waves.

Zane Schweitzer opened the game by paddling into some monsters on his Stand Up Paddle board, quickly followed by Nathan Florence and Tyler Larronde.

As the waves rapidly got bigger (about 60 feet!) and the wind stronger (making paddling into the wave almost impossible), surfers started to catch the waves with the help of jet-skis.

During this day we saw Kai Lenny getting massive barrels and kicking out of the waves doing double backflips.

Brad Domke caught probably the biggest wave ever ridden on a skimboard (small surfboard with no fins).

Zane Schweitzer rode giants using every tool possible, first on his stand up paddle board, then on his surfboard…and finished on his windsurf!

Much more happened! We saw insane dangerous wipeouts on windsurfs, spectators getting smashed by waves on the beach (yes do NOT get too close!!!), and surfers sharing waves together.

-Justine Dupont Pushes the Limits

On January 16, 2021, we witnessed French surfer Justine Dupont pushing the limits of women’s surfing in Maui during one of the biggest swells of the decade.

At the end of the day, if there is one wave that people will remember, the one ride that marked the day, is definitely Justine Dupont’s wave!

On Big Saturday Surfer Girl Justine Dupont Made History in Maui! We saw her get towed in to one of the best and biggest waves of the day. She disappeared deep behind the curtain that is made of thousands of gallons of water, to finally make it out with the spit!

We never saw this in Woman surfing before.  Justine is not the first woman to surf Pe’ahi, or to get barreled there, but no woman before ever showed such commitment. She threw herself extremely deep inside the mouth of the Hawaiian giants and managed to get spit out!

The size and the depth of the barrel Justine caught on Saturday was unprecedented in Woman’s surfing.

In Conclusion

Big Wave Surfing has been evolving very fast. Surfers keep pushing the limits with the help of new technology to stay as safe as possible.

We have seen more and more people starting to enter (and exit) the tubes of Jaws during the past 10 years.
The size and depth of the tube Justine Dupont caught this Saturday is completely unprecedented in Woman surfing.

At Belle Surf Cafe, we are proud that one of the Best Feminine Big Wave Surfers is French. Giving inspiration to millions of women in the world to push their limits and to show that anything a man can do a woman can too!

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