Keala Kennelly catches massive Teahupoo wave, love from Kelly Slater

Big-wave surfer Keala Kennelly is no stranger to pushing surfing boundaries, and she may have just upped the ante again, by catching what some are calling the heaviest wave ever ridden by any woman while surfing at Teahupoo:

After watching swell forecasts for the past month, Kennelly, who spent a decade on women’s tour ranked as a top 10 surfer in the world before retiring in 2007, arrived in Tahiti this past Thursday ready for action.

Immediately after being towed in, Kennelly knew she was in for a big ride.

RELATED: Keala Kennelly is changing the face of big-wave surfing

“I passed on a much smaller wave that had some chop on the face, and when I saw that one standing up I knew it was going to be a bomb so I was like ‘okay, this is it…” Kennelly told Surfer Today.

Unfortunately for Kennelly, who in 2005 became the first woman to ever tow into Teahupoo, the wave quickly collapsed on her, pinning her to Teahupoo’s notoriously shallow reef.

“I got exploded on with so much force my helmet blew off. I got smashed down onto the reef pinned on my back and held there for a while,” said the Hawaiian native. “Then, I came up and got a breath just in time to get the wave behind it on the head. That one slammed me on the reef with a lot of force — the whole left side of my body hit really hard. It felt like I broke my elbow and my hand. At first I couldn’t move my hand but after awhile I started to be able to wiggle my fingers, so that was a good sign.”

Eventually she was picked up by her friend, pro surf photographer Brent Bielmann, who told her she had just ridden one of the biggest waves he had ever seen.

“When I got back to the boat my friend Brent was freaking out and claiming [it was the] biggest, heaviest wave by a chick ever,” said Kennelly. “I thought he was just messing with me and then he showed me the photo and then I didn’t feel so bad for not making it out of the barrel.”

And Brent wasn’t the only one impressed by her ride, as Kelly Slater took to Instagram to share his excitement over her ride.

“The stuff guys are doing these days is seriously nuts…into the oblivion not knowing what happens when you wipeout,” Slater wrote in a post attached to a picture of Kennelly catching the wave. “But the craziest guy of all is a girl … @kealakennelly. Looks like someone challenged her to a #YouWontGo contest and she called their bluff!”

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