Photos by Frank Quirarte, Doug Acton, Don Montgomery, Mike Kitahara and Vern Fisher
Special Thanks to Surfer Magazine
December 19, 1994 – The Wipeout. The sets at Maverick’s are pushing twenty feet. Jay Moriarity heads straight to the peak, paddles for a wave, gets to his feet. The offshore winds don’t allow him to penetrate the wave face, he gets hung up in the lip and then freefalls 30-40 feet down the face en route to the ocean floor. As the wave detonates, he disappears from sight. Twelve seconds pass–he has not surfaced. Twenty seconds–still no signs of life. His fall has all the makings of a real tragedy, but Jay does not panic–two years of training are about to pay off–he will remain calm, he will rise to the top, he will appear on the cover of Surfer magazine, he will gain infamy, but most importantly, he will survive.