Watch: Shane Dorian's Perfect Ride, Dissected

"I remember thinking, 'If I catch this, it will be the best wave of my life.'"

Immediately following October 9, 2012, a wave of photos and videos from the paddle-in only day at Jaws swept the internet faster than the swell had come up on Hawaii's North Shore. Certainly, the most viral was the image of Shane Dorian, arms outstretched, triumphantly riding out one of the biggest waves ever paddled (not long ago, waves that size were thought to only be catchable with a jet ski's tow). That ride—and one other from the same day—quickly earned Dorian nominations in 2013's Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards.

Watch Dorian has he breaks down the wave—how he felt leading up to it (teaser: Dorian had been thinking about calling it quits for the day immediately before the set), the way that the wave took shape, how he nearly wiped out hard, and...well, we'll let you find out for yourself.