Surf: The Deadliest Waves In The World

For many surfers the best wave is never enough, there is always the promise of catching a better wave, a more intense experience, and is that to feel this adrenaline rush of running for a wave, some travel very far for increasingly extreme challenges.

This usually means a combination of danger and skill in which fear is always there for the fact of being in a potentially deadly situation.

I present to you in this first installment the most dangerous waves in the world:


This monster crashes into rocks in a place known as South Africa’s “shark alley”. If the big waves and stones don’t shatter you, the big white sharks could.

Where is it?

Dungeons is located in Hout Bay, South Africa, near Cape Town.

Why is it dangerous?

Dungeons breaks into the high seas with several different reefs and boulders with very cold water temperatures.

But one of the biggest risks is the shark. The blast is near Seal Island, which is home to thousands of seals that attract large white sharks.

One of the things that makes it difficult to surf Dungeons is that there are a number of islands in the back that deflect the waves.

Notes: the water temperature is cold, the wave has a force of 9/10. There are plenty of white sharks.


The enormous waves of Mavericks (in the north of California) that rise in the Pacific during the winter, propose surf suitable only for a few. Several surfers have died, when they are pushed underwater by the enormous power of the waves.

Where is it?

Mavericks is located outside Pillar Point Harbor, just north of Half Moon Bay and south of San Francisco in northern California.

Why is it dangerous?

The waves here are big, with an underwater rocky ridge that makes conditions unpredictable.

The waves can reach a maximum of 24 meters. Wave breakage is caused by a rock formation. Only a few big wave surfers are willing to risk their lives in Mavericks.


Hawaiian champion Mark Foo died while surfing at Mavericks in 1994. Foo was on a late takeoff on a 5.5 meter wave, when he fell forward on a wipe out near the bottom of the wave. His body was not found until several hours passed. Many believe that when he fell, he hit his head in addition to his belt being able to get caught in the dangerous rocks of Mavericks.

Sion Milosky, a big-wave surfer, died in Mavericks on March 16, 2011. Milosky, 35, of Kalaheo, Kauai, Hawaii, apparently drowned after falling on a big wave. Twenty minutes after the incident, his body was found floating near Pillar Point Harbor.

Notes: the water temperature is very cold, the wave has a force of 10/10. There are sharks, rocks and strong currents in its waters.


In the most beautiful part of the Pacific, the most vicious wave, almost unnatural, emerges from the depths and hits a sharp vein a few centimetres below the surface. A danger to life.

Where is it?

Teahupo’o is on a reef off the southwestern coast of the island of Tahiti, in the southern Pacific Ocean.

Why is it dangerous?

This wave on the left rises from deeper water as quickly as it hits a crescent-shaped reef just 1.5 metres below the surface. These glassy waves are among the thickest and heaviest on the planet. Therefore, you can get a wave up to 10 meters high, which breaks on a reef as sharp as razor blades just a meter and a half below the surface. It is certainly not a place for the weak.

The name Teahupo’o can be translated into English as “head cutter” or “place of skulls”. There have been five recorded deaths in Teahupo’o since 2000.

In 2001, in the pre-Billabong Pro stage, local surfer Briece Taerea crashed into the underwater reef while riding a four-meter wave. He broke his neck and back in three places, went into a coma and died two days later.

Notes: the water temperature is tropical, the wave has a force of 10/10. There are sharp corals in its waters.

JAWS – Peahí, Hawaii

It is in an isolated part of Hawaii and thanks to this place became fashionable surfing big waves or XXL. A fall here could be fatal.

Why is it dangerous?

Jaws has unpredictable changes in its conditions and received its nickname after the movie Jaws, comparing the unpredictability of this wave with a shark attack.

The waves can exceed 18 m in height. The extreme size of the waves is caused by the structure of an underwater ridge. The only way to surf these waves is to be towed by the jet ski to get enough momentum. If a surfer falls, the wave can push him 15 meters below the surface. Even the most experienced surfers can be seriously injured, rescues are very expensive as they are by helicopter.

Notes: the water temperature is tropical, the wave has a force of 10/10. There are sharks, rocks and strong currents in its waters.


Incredible monsters from the depths that rise more than 30 meters high on a Portuguese promontory, attracting intrepid surfers to risk their lives in what are the largest waves on the planet.

Where is it?

Nazare is located on the Atlantic coast of Portugal, about 120 km north of Lisbon.

Why is it dangerous?

Sheer size. These are the biggest waves ever sailed.

Nazare is one of the westernmost points of continental Europe, so the Atlantic waves arrive unhindered. The massive rupture is formed due to the presence of the Nazare submarine Canyon, the largest in Europe. The biggest waves coincide with the winter storms.

In November 2011, Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara surfed a 23.8-meter monster, then considered the largest wave ever surfed. In 2014, Benjamin Sanchis broke all records by surfing a 33-meter wave. On Oct. 28, 2013, big-wave surfer Maya Gabeira nearly died, but was rescued after losing consciousness. In August 2012, a sudden wave killed a 5-year-old British girl and her grandfather as they walked along the neighboring Salgado beach.

Notes: the water temperature is cold, the wave has a force of 10/10. There are strong currents in its waters and localism in its beaches.