The West

Surfer conquers near deadly break
Ryan Hipwood behind the white water. Picture: Connor Jackson

In the long 60 seconds surfer Ryan Hipwood spent underwater, being held down by some of WA's biggest waves, he knew that if he could keep the ocean from flooding his lungs then he would be back for another attempt.

Two years since he was dumped by a monster wave at the southern WA break known as The Right, the Gold Coast surfer last month conquered the same break that almost killed him.

Video has surfaced showing Hipwood gliding under the wave, believed to be about 7m high, before throwing his arms in the air to cheers from his crew.

The footage, filmed as part of a reality show documenting big wave attempts, had had more than 123,000 views on YouTube yesterday.

Picture: Connor Jackson

Hipwood said his near-death experience in 2012 felt like an "underwater washing machine" but made him more determined to surf the enormous waves.

"I basically just fell off and let go and I was too far behind the wave, the water just kind of came down on me and swallowed me up," he said.

"I almost blacked out. When I came to the surface, luckily my mate was there with a (jet) ski.

Picture: Connor Jackson

"I couldn't let it take over what I do, so the best thing to do is to go out and give it another go."

Hipwood spent two years training for his next attempt.

The location - kept secret by surfers hoping to prevent visits by tourists - is understood to be off the Denmark coast and accessible only by boat or jetski.

Photographer Connor Jackson said Hipwood could easily have been killed by the wave, which he caught at just the right moment.

The West Australian

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