Ride Big
Women's Health Australia|June 2020
Laura Enever walked away from her pro surfing career to conquer the big waves as a freesurfer. Here, she reveals why she followed her heart
Emma Levett

The jetski roared into action dragging the first-timer behind it. As Laura Enever tried to calm the wave of nerves on the verge of enveloping her, the actual wave she hoped to ride was readying itself for the challenge. As the ocean dipped and then surged, the jetski sped into its path delivering Enever into the heart of the monster wave at Tasmania’s Shipstern Bluff.

Within seconds of letting go of the tow rope, the now 28-year-old knew she was in trouble. Far from the elegant glide across the wall of water she’d visualised, she was swiftly tossed in the air by one of the most dangerous waves in the world. As the slab reared up behind her, Enever clumsily cartwheeled backwards down its face. As it crashed down she, and her surfboard, were held under in the wash for what felt like minutes.

Gasping for breath, she burst through the surface moments later. As her watching friends all momentarily held their breath, she gave them a beaming smile. “That was my worst wipe-out and after that they all thought I’d be scared off but, once I knew I was unscathed, it was the best feeling ever,” Enever says, still smiling at the memory.

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