Watch Clip of Felicity Palmateer Ridding Biggest Wave Ever by a Female in Australia at Cow Bombie
Felicity Palmateer Rides Biggest Wave Ever by a Female
in Australia at Cow Bombie
At just 22 she’s an artist, conservationist, competitive surfer
and now BIG WAVE SURFER!
Last week as the Indian Ocean XXL Swell hit the West Australian coast Felicity got the call up from local big wave surfer Antman and strapped on her tow-board in what was a historic day for women’s surfing in Australia.
Cow Bombie is known for it’s offshore reef breaking mega waves only ridden by the most experienced big wave riders. It’s located off the coast of Margaret River in south Western Australia where Felicity grew up. She said she wanted a slice of the big wave action this year and has now planted her feet firmly into the record books with this spectacular ride.
Flick spoke to The Mermaid Society this week and said she hadn’t spent much time preparing for her first big wave experience and the 20-30 foot swell that put her in the news. “I was expecting a much more gradual approach, including a lot more practice in a variety of other waves, more practice on a tow board, finding the right kind of tow board that suits me, getting used to the feeling of wearing impact suits, life jackets – all that stuff that comes with being prepared for serious waves. I definitely wasn’t expecting my first session to be out Cow Bombie on a swell of that magnitude.”
She had prepared herself for the event of a big swell but not in the days leading up to what turned out to be ‘go-day’ she says “I have done breath training so I knew I could hold my breath for a while. That was reassuring when I did cop waves on the head which happened before I even caught my first wave. We drifted into the impact zone and the biggest set of the day caught us off guard and I basically had to deal with three 30-ffot waves, on the head, swimming in the impact zone before I could get picked up.”
You can’t just pull in on one of these monsters on your run-of-the-mill beach break board… where did she find one in time for the trip west “We were hunting around for a couple of days and ended up borrowing a board from James “Billy” Watson, he’s a Burleigh boy, one of big wave surfer, Jamie Mitchell’s good mates on the Gold Coast. We literally grabbed it at about 7 at night, on the way to the airport. I couldn’t believe how heavy it was when I first picked it up. I was told it would be heavy, but I still wasn’t ready for it – it probably weighs 10-15kg. I didn’t think it was going to float!”
Being one of the only girls representing Australia in the big wave scene compared to the US/Hawaii where there are a few girls who chase the big swells, we want to know if she’s hooked on the rush? “I’ve always liked bigger waves. Coming from Western Australia I’m used to the power and used to seeing big swells. I had been talking with Antman for a while about doing some tow surfing and getting into bigger waves. But in saying that, it’s not like I went out to try and catch the biggest wave, it wasn’t my intention. You don’t really know how big some of the waves are until you see photos later. But I’m definitely hooked. It was definitely exciting.”
Check out the footage by Tim Bonython & share with your friends!