The mutant beast of a wave that earned Laurie Towner a SURFER cover and high praise from Andy Irons. Photo: Gibson

In the spring of 2006, Andy Irons made his Shipstern’s Bluff debut alongside Joel Parkinson, Mark Mathews, Dylan Longbottom, and Laurie Towner. The 3X world champ easily adapted to the deformed right-hand slab, but at the end of the day it was the relatively unknown 19-year-old Laurie Towner who stole the show (and the cover of our June 2006 issue). Irons even went as far as saying that Towner’s wave (at the start of the clip and shown below) was the “biggest paddle-in barrel ever.” Quite a bit has changed since then, but this raw, unscripted footage offers a rare glimpse into the camaraderie behind waves that border the impossible.

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