One slip and this surfer could find himself waving his final goodbye.
But, despite the risk, brave 17-year-old Josh Hughes had waited his whole lifetime to tackle this 20ft wall of water known to wave riders as ‘The Widowmaker’.
He is thought to be the youngest person to surf the legendary breaker – Britain’s biggest – known as the Cribbar.
And he did it on hist first attempt.
The monster wave, which can reach above 25ft, usually hits the shore of Newquay, Cornwall, only a handful of times a year.
After tackling the awesome power that sent millions of tons of water crashing over the Cribbar reef at Fistral Beach, thrilled Josh described it as ‘amazing – but scary’.
‘It was just like so much water behind me,’ he explained.
‘It was a lot bigger than normal waves and it’s so fast, so, so, fast and bumpy. It felt amazing. ‘That was my first time surfing at a proper big wave spot.
‘I was the youngest guy out there. I think that I’m the youngest person to surf it.’
Surfers taking on the Cribbar usually get towed onto wave by a jet-ski so that they can go fast enough to ride it.
But Josh, a student from Newquay, is too young to be insured on a jet ski and had to rely on his paddle power to get onto the giant wave himself. ‘I was really scared at first and at first I didn’t want to catch it,’ he admitted. ‘But then I saw a few guys take some pretty gnarly wipe-outs but they kept coming back up so I thought, “I could do that.”
‘I’ve always wanted to surf it.’
Josh said that he decided that he would try to surf the massive wave on Tuesday night much to the dismay of his mother.
But his father, youth worker Peter Hughes, 46, was willing to come and watch.
Josh, who hopes to become a professional surfer, said that he hopes to take on other big waves around the world in the future.
The Cribbar, which is only surfable a couple of times a year, is considered a challenging feat.
Yesterday saw only a handful of surfers attempting to ride the legendary wave.