Greg Noll, aka 'Da Bull' is pure legend and images of him charging big waves in his 'Jail House' black and white striped shorts are known to surfers around the world.
He's a big guy with a huge smile, always on the edge of pure belly laughter. When I watch interviews with Greg, he seems to have this twinkle in his eye for mischief and talks with a pure passion for surfing. He seems like the kind of guy you could sit with and listen to for hours whilst he tells tails of passed surfing antics with some of the greats, charging bomb sets with Viking like heroism.
He will always go down in history for being the big guy charging the first waves ridden at Bonzai Pipeline in 1974. He was once asked to describe his first wave ridden there, to which he said:
"The wave I caught at Outside Pipeline that day walled up twenty-five-feet high about half a mile in front of me. It broke to the left, so I was riding with my back to the wave, goofy-foot, and it was a god-awful uneasy feeling. Instead of getting smaller as I rode it, the sonofabitch grew on me. It got bigger and bigger, and I started going faster and faster until I was absolutely locked into it. I felt like I was on a spaceship racing into a void. At first, I could hear my board chattering across the face of the wave in a constant rhythm. As my speed increased, the chattering noise became less frequent. Suddenly there was no noise. For about fifteen or twenty feet, I was airborne. Then I literally was blown off my board." — Greg Noll, Da Bull: life over the edge
'Da Bull' can be found in varies different surfing documentaries and one of my favorites is the 'Pipeline Masters' documentary made in 2006. It's worth a watch to see the history of Pipe and how the competition, surfers and surf design evolved over the years.