These incredible pictures show the moment a big wave surfer took to the sea to conquer massive swells – just months after he punctured a lung partaking in the extreme sport.
Pro surfer Tom Butler, 28, has been tackling the biggest waves in the world for the past six years, in the process gaining a well-earned reputation and winning international competitions.
But, in December last year, Tom suffered a catastrophic fall during a competition known as the Nazare Challenge, when he slipped off a giant wave and the force of the impact punctured his lung.
After a year of rehabilitation and training, Tom is back on his board and has now tackled the biggest wave in the country – The Cornish Cribbar, a wave the same size as a three-floor building.
Tom, who works part-time as a project coordinator for The Wave Project, said: “There’s not really any big waves in the UK except this.
“It was huge, it was about the same size as a three-storey building.
“It’s one of those things where you’re buzzing when you’re out there. It sounds cliché but there is nothing like it.
“The waves can really run you down, but when you successfully rise one it’s an absolute buzz.
“It’s a discipline I enjoy, some people will get more enjoyment from smaller waves but this is what I dream about.
“Yesterday the conditions were the best I’ve ever seen.
“We get lots of waves out there, but if it’s windy it gets too messy, it pushes you off the peak of the wave.”