Renowned big-wave rider tames monster 7m Sydney swells: 'Quite fun'

The bodysurfer took on the wild conditions in Sydney's east armed with just a pair of boardies.

·3-min read
Seen here, experienced bodysurfer Kalani Lattanzi.
Experienced big-wave rider Kalani Lattanzi took on massive swells at Wedding Cake Island, in Sydney's east. Pic: Instagram

A Brazilian waterman who ignored warnings not to enter Sydney's wild and monstrous surf this week has likened himself to a fish after surviving unscathed. As all but the most experienced boardriders heeded advice from authorities not to go anywhere near the water as 12m swells pounded the east coast, Kalani Lattanzi headed out at notorious Wedding Cake Island armed with just a pair of boardies and a set of fins.

He thrilled onlookers by catching a series of waves estimated at around the 20ft – approximately 7m – mark. Lattanzi is no stranger to big swells, having tackled Portugal's infamous Nazare, where waves of up to 80-100m are not uncommon.

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He has also taken on dangerous big wave locations Jaws and Mavericks. The Sydney-based bodysurfer was delighted to taste such untamed conditions in his adopted city.

"It is quite fun for me, especially with the fins, you can kind of be like a fish," Lattanzi told the Temple of Surf website. "You'll feel like a ramp - you don’t have any board with you, your body is your surfboard.

"You need always to put your body in the position that you're going to ride the wave and this is possible only by the experience of you being in the water for a long time and getting 'comfy' with it. Your mind must be strong, too."

Kalani Lattanzi relishes taking on the big waves

Lattanzi has had an affinity with the water since he was a baby, spending just about every day of his adolescence either bodysurfing or bodyboarding. As a result, he rarely experiences any great fear when waves are well overhead and life-threatening.

"When you stay too much time outside of the water watching other people getting pounded and getting hurt (it) is scary. Sometimes s**t can happen," he explained.

Kalani Lattanzi is no stranger to taking on monster waves around the world. Pic: Instagram
Kalani Lattanzi is no stranger to taking on monster waves around the world. Pic: Instagram

"But when I get in the water, I don't feel like that. Everything is much easier and I feel better.

"In the water you can’t have those kind of (fearful) feelings. You need to be confident.

"If you're not confident, then you should not go! You should go only when you feel good physically and mentally."

The giant swell hitting Sydney had abated by Tuesday afternoon but was still considered far too dangerous for the average swimmer/surfer to tackle.

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