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The Science of Shipstern Bluff | Tasmania's Big Wave Surfing Break

Shipstern Bluff is regarded as one of the wildest and most dangerous surf locations, thanks to waves of up to 30 feet (10 meters), equivalent to a four-story building.

One of the most challenging surf breaks in the world, Shipstern Bluff was first surfed in the early 2000s with triple-overhead waves up to 20 feet (6 meters) commonplace.

The most notable characteristic of “Shippies” is when a wave within a wave is created due to the shape of the reef bottom, causing several steps to emerge.

The rest of the wave is a fast-paced barrel of up to 50 km/h – the weight in volume of water equivalent to 15 semi-trailers – making it a violent hold down.

Shipstern Bluff is also welcoming to sea life, such as seals, orcas, and great white sharks with several sightings over the years, adding to the fear factor of this chilling coastline.

“Surfing a wave like Shipstern Bluff gives a sense of satisfaction and relief,” says three-time world champion, Mick Fanning.

Footage: Red Bull

Reblogged 3 years ago from


Rager Rick says:

I am not blinded by science.

Dis Count says:

heres the science – that wave wants to kill you for the sharks to then feast on your carcass

Marcelo Rosa Melo says:

Try watching this video, listening to the song Elea (Worakls).

George Strait says:

That was pretty fucken good 🤨. Showing the headland, ledges etc which puts it in an entirely different perspective…cheers 👍🏻

ELORE says:

Excellent explanation. It only needs to have a diagram of the differing levels under the sea, which are responsible for the multilayered waves that form on that part of Australia.

Brad Burkley says:

I'm going to sound like Spock, but… In spite of videos of completed rides, it's basically an unrideable wave. Meaning: just think of all the surfing you could be doing, anywhere else, in the time it takes to get to, get out in, and get beat down by this spot.

ADZ Out n about says:

Like all of Australia's heavy waves……discovered and first surfed by bodyboarders.
Add to the list : The Right, Rabbits, the Island, Cape Fear……I could go on

godwantsplastic says:

No animated explanation of the reef bottom creating the steps?


Mike Tausig says:

Way to paraphrase EXACTLY what wiki information exists on the Bluff. Thumbs down. How about some original thought?

Lorenzo Hubert says:

Well, at least we did not learn what makes this wave so special… I expected this video would show a 3D map of the ocean floor where the swell hits the reef and give precise explenations about the wave braking phenomenon (and make the link between). 🙁

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