Big wave surfer Mark Mathews takes you inside Shipstern Bluff

Big wave surfer Mark Mathews takes you inside Shipstern Bluff

The fact big wave surfer Mark Mathews has managed to take sports lovers behind the curtain of one of the world’s most dangerous waves, is another.

In an emotional comeback to Tasmania’s world-renowned big wave of Shipstern Bluff, Matthews has used his return to the water to not only surf the 10-foot waves - but to take others with him by holding a GoPro camera.

It’s the equivalent of jockey Hugh Bowman riding Winx with only one hand on the reigns - in his first race back after three years out of the saddle.

What injuries Matthews didn’t suffer when he landed feet first onto a reef in 2016, aren’t worth mentioning.

He suffered a broken leg, a dislocated knee, two snapped ligaments, major nerve damage, tore an artery, leaving him lucky not to have his leg amputated.

Told by doctors he would never surf again, Maroubra’s Matthews then underwent tendon transfer surgery so that his foot is now fixed at 90-degrees.

Which is why alongside his closest mates, including former world champion Mick Fanning, Matthews was close to tears after capturing the incredible footage from inside a famous bluff barrel.

“I was extremely excited to be back down there and just wanted to get into one of those big barrels that we got the vision of, but at the same time terrified of re-injuring myself,’’ Matthews said.

“I was very apprehensive.

“The main one in the photos is about 10-feet, which isn’t huge for Shipstern, but it was perfect.

“Size-wise it’s about halfway from where I want to be.

“Using the GoPro camera, which I’m lucky to have access to as one of their sponsored athletes, was always my ultimate goal of entertaining surf fans.

“It’s about showing them what you’re seeing, so they can then have an idea of why you take so much risk in the water.

“It’s because of that vision.’’

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