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JAWS
Peahi, Maui, Hawaii

JAWS is wonder of nature, an awesome spectacle that only a very few surfers will ever experience.

Jeff Timpone has been there since the very beginning, working side by side with the likes of Dave Kalama, Laird and others...quietly crafting by trial and error the first tow-in boards and then playing a central role in the shaping of later generations of "tow-in" boards.

Because Jeff has played such a pivotal and key role in the evolution of "tow-in" surfing, it's only appropriate that we attempt to convey some of the majesty and awesome power of the break at Pe‘ahi, Maui, more commonly known as "JAWS." Check out the GALLERY page for more images from Jaws and let us know if any of the links to the right are broken.

All thumbnail images on this page are clickable and will open up a new window with a larger image.

Why does JAWS break so big?
If you want to get super technical, read the article above on the "science" of Jaws. But, for the average person, it goes something like this. Offshore from Peahi, there's a wedge shaped ridge about 30 feet under the surface. When NORMAL swells approach, the waves don't "go off" because they don't penetrate the entire water column. But, storm swells longer than about 1,000 feet in length really trip over the ridge. As part of a storm swell passes over the ridge crest, it slows down because water travels slower in shallow water. Other parts of the swell travel faster in deeper water, causing the wave to focus on the ridge – a process called refraction. The swells on either side of the reef, moving in deeper water, bend inward, focusing much of their energy on the center of the wave crest. In this way, the reef squeezes the wave inward and upward to form a peaking wave.

Has anyone ever died trying to surf JAWS?
At the time of this writing, no one has ever had a fatal incident at JAWS. However, many of the original group of surfers who pioneered the techniques that make JAWS surfable at all share great concerns over the increasing numbers of inexperienced surfers attempting to scale the massive wave. For a more in depth discussion of this issue, read the Outside Magazine article linked at the top of this page. Also, HERE is a video of Laird Hamilton discusing the dangers of big wave surfing. HERE is a Maui News article on safety from Nov.'05.

"Jeff Timpone moved over from SoCal where he was a well respected shaper with a following going back to the early 70's. Maybe the move to Maui started as a better place for his kids to grow up, but it was equally as good for Jeff. He stepped into an equipment void that his well-developed shaping skills and experience quickly filled. He hooked up with the pioneers of the tow-boarding movement, and the rest is history. While his shaping expertise goes back 30 years before it began, he will always be credited with being at the forefront of the evolution of tow-boards for the huge waves of Jaws."

- Gerry Lopez

All images on this page are Copyright ©2004 Phil Russell shot on 'Big Wednesday', Dec. 15, 2004 and MAY NOT be used without the express permission of the author. Contact Jaws-Photos.com to correspond with Mr. Russell.
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