‘I’ve just got to do it’: Bodysurfing six-metre waves in Speedos

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Kalani Lattanzi spent almost an hour on Monday paddling his way into some of the biggest waves ever to hit Coogee’s Wedding Cake Island.

After getting caught on the inside of a six-metre, angry wall of water and foam, the Brazilian bodysurfer realised his wetsuit was more hindrance than help.

Brazilian bodysurfer Kalani Lattanzi takes on Sydney’s monster swell at Wedding Cake Island.Credit: Dallas Kilponen

So he stripped down to his Speedos, flippers and nothing more to catch a couple of bombs among the seven-metre swells that were bashing Sydney’s coastline.

“It was heavy out there, it’s not too far off the most powerful waves I’ve surfed,” Lattanzi said on Tuesday.

“I tried to paddle straight into it to start, and the current never let me get near the peak. I paddled and paddled at it and got caught on the inside, bashed up, and I went back to the beach to work out a new strategy.

“I took off the wetsuit, jumped in off the rocks and came from way outside into the peak, so I could get to the take-off. I got two good waves, and an acai bowl afterwards to celebrate.”

Kalani Lattanzi’s bodysurfing record is a 12-metre face at Nazare in Portugal.Credit: Instagram @tonydandreafotografia

More than a decade spent chasing and bodysurfing the world’s biggest waves – Lattanzi’s record is a 12-metre face at Nazare in Portugal – had him well-prepared for Monday’s Sydney surf, and shrugging off any ill-effects.

A couple of cuts and bruises from jumping off the rocks were his only worries after a session that had locals struggling to recall a larger set at the big-wave spot.

Lattanzi refused a jet-ski ride to the break but accepted a lift back, only for a six-metre wave to wash him into Coogee Beach, a kilometre ride from the Wedding Cake peaks.

Lattanzi has taken on Nazare – home of the largest waves ever surfed – Jaws in Maui and Mavericks in southern California.

He didn’t chase this week’s swell to Coogee, but was in town after a trip to Urbnsurf, Melbourne’s man-made break.

Lattanzi lives in Rio de Janeiro and says Brazil has its fair share of heaving breaks to get his thrills. His worst injury is a broken wrist suffered when he was discovering big-wave bodysurfing as a teenager.

“I don’t really get scared, I trust my training and my experience,” he said.

“My grandma, she worries. And Mum too. I tell Grandma I’ve just got to do it, it’s just something I love to do.

“And with my mum, I’m a bit more open. I say to her, ‘What do you want me to do instead, rob a bank or something?’ I love the water and I love the adrenalin, this is what I love doing.”

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