March 30, 2018
Thomas King decided to do the impossible: SUP Skeleton Bay. The wave in Skeleton bay is said to be almost a mile long. It erupts out of deep water and hits a reef of rock hard sand making the conditions nearly impossible for surfers not to mention a SUP. Thomas King was not deterred as he attempted to conquer this unique destination.
SANDBLASTED | A FIRST TASTE OF NAMIBIA’S SKELETON BAY
By SUP Magazine
Words by Will Bendix
Photos by Alan Van Gysen
The twin-prop plane banks hard to the right as the captain announces that we have begun our descent to Walvis Bay International Airport. Outside the small window lies a sea of undulating yellow, a vast ocean of desert and sand dunes that stretch into the belly of Africa. Most of the passengers have their heads pressed against the window to get a better look but Thomas King stares straight ahead, gripping the armrests of his seat. His palms are sticky with sweat. It's not just the motion of the plane that unnerves him. Somewhere below us lies the ferocious wave known as Skeleton Bay, a mile-long ride that breaks with unmatched speed and power along the edge of the Namib Desert.
A former big-wave surfer, King has dreamed of riding this anomaly since it was unveiled to the world in a 2009 SURFING magazine article. At first he simply wanted to tackle it on a surfboard, but King later hatched an audacious plan: He was going to be the first to ride it on a SUP.
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