Surfer recounts tale of brutal wipe out at Mavericks

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Thursday, December 20, 2018
VIDEO: Surfer describes terrifying wipe out at Mavericks
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A surfer described the 100-seconds he was stuck under pounding waves after a wipe out at Mavericks.

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (KGO) -- The heavy surf pounding Northern California beaches is growing less intense as the week wears on, but the power of brutal waves and wipe outs - including this one at Pillar Point Monday - is still having an effect on people who love the beach.

One surfer finds himself best-known, right now, for the wave he didn't finish. It's the wave that nearly finished him, instead.

VIDEO: Surfers catch big waves at Mavericks in Half Moon Bay

"It's like being in an uncomfortable position and you can't get out of it," said Wilem Banks.

On Monday, he survived maybe the most spectacular wipe-out ever recorded at Mavericks. Wilem spent 100 seconds of being tossed around beneath, and battered above by wave after wave. "It feels like a flag person at a car dealer, getting ripped around," he said.

VIDEO: Surfer recounts terrifying 100-seconds under water after wipe out at Mavericks

Today, we showed Wilem the video as captured by ABC7's Dean Smith. Wilem had never seen it. Frame-by-frame, the 22 year-old construction worker deconstructed every second of the ride.

"The worst was when I went airborne and my feet moved. I didn't think I would die at all. It's kind of a meditative mindset," Wilem said.

RELATED: 100 scary seconds: What it's like to wipe out on a 50 foot wave at Mavericks in Half Moon Bay

While it's gone crazy on the internet, Wilem remains unfazed. "I think Instagram does make you famous because it come along, and then dies really quickly."

How fortunate that in this case, the subject lived to surf another day.

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