Windsurfers risk their lives riding Cornwall’s 20ft ‘Widow Maker’ wave the Cribbar

December 18, 2013 | by | 1 Comment

This is the moment daredevil windsurfers risked life and limb taking on Britain’s biggest wave – a 20ft wall of water nicknamed ‘The Widow Maker’.

The notorious Cribbar wave hits the UK coastline just a handful of times a year and is famed for its ferocity and power.

The phenomenon is actually a short series of waves known as “The Widow Maker” and “The Bone Cruncher” because of the extreme danger of riding them.

A windsurfer rides Britain's biggest wave, the Cribbar in Cornwall

A windsurfer rides Britain’s biggest wave, the Cribbar in Cornwall

It is created when low pressure systems in the Atlantic trigger huge swells which rise up as they pass over a rocky shelf called the Cribbar Reef off Newquay, Cornwall.

The wave crashed into Newquay’s Fistral Beach on Sunday reaching as high as 20ft, whipped up the wet and windy weather.

It was too big for conventional surfers – but a handful of professional windsurfers and kitesurfers ventured into the swell.

The wave is also known as the 'Widow Maker'

The wave is also known as the ‘Widow Maker’

Photographer Geoff Tydeman said: “The wind was howling so the surfers had to go elsewhere.

“I’ve been taking pictures at the Cribbar for years and this is only the second time I’ve ever seen windsurfers attempt the wave.

“You need to know what you’re doing on the Cribbar – it’s not one for faint-hearted.”

The Cribbar has been part of surfing folklore since 1966 when three visiting Australians stumbled upon it and were amazed by its size.

Ever since then experienced surfers from across the globe have come to the UK to take on the challenge.

Category: Pictures

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I always like a bit of uneducated sensationalist journalism. Nothing like learning about your subject!

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