Holland rides the ‘biggest wave’
EMERALD Beach pro-surfer Justin Holland has spoken about the dice with death that saw him flattened by an 18m wave.
The wave, hailed as "probably the biggest ever ridden in Australia," left Holland with a broken leg.
Holland was surfing at Cow Bombie, an open-ocean reef break about 2km off the coast of Grace Town in WA, with mate and world champion paddle boarder, Jamie Mitchell.
"Conditions when we were out there, there was a little bit of wind but it was big," Holland told MySurfTV.
"It was beautiful, the sun was up, there wasn't any clouds in the sky and I was flying down this thing.
"I probably faded a little bit too much but it was fun, it was fast and it was clean so all things were going well at that stage."
Holland described the moment when the freak wave hit.
"It was an amazing noise, like a big slap and an explosion behind you.
"It happened so quick that it was chaos straight after that."
Jamie Mitchell described what he saw as "like an atomic bomb" going off.
"As the wave hit me, my back foot slipped out of the back toe strap, my front foot stayed in, and in one motion I heard the whole thing click, then pain, then me screaming under water," Holland said.
He wore the brunt of another huge wave as conditions made Mitchell's rescue with the jet ski near impossible.
After a long ride back to shore, Holland was taken to Bunbury Hospital where he received treatment for a broken left femur.
"It was absolutely shattered," he said.
"They put a titanium rod down my femur, two screws up into the top of my bone that goes into my hip and then down near the knee I've got another two nails."
The 38-year-old father-of-two is looking at a three month wait before he's back riding waves.
Holland's friends have organised a fundraiser to help with his medical expenses.
To donate, visit gofundme.com/y6mg7e6.