Header for Anonymous Users


“This is a place far off the beaten path, where I can disappear and return with my mind blown and the images to go with it,” says Hawaii-based photographer Dane Grady. “It’s like the Area 51 of the Pacific. A lot of crazy and weird stuff happens in the water. The sea is moody here—the waves can be elegant or down right vicious and contorted in the most brilliant of ways.” Photo: Dane Grady

“My buddy Ash is a tree-trimmer on the North Shore,” says photographer Mark McInnis. “And when I lived over there I worked with him. He taught me how to climb trees with ropes and harnesses and I’ve been implementing those techniques to get unique angles with my imagery. This shot was taken near my house in the Pacific Northwest after at least a hundred attempts to get the rope up to this limb. I was so tired of trying, but I wouldn’t give up because I knew the image would be worth it. Sure enough, I hung out up there for a few minutes to shoot and came down with this. It’s of a really popular spot, so it was nice to get a fresh view of it.” Photo: Mark McInnis

“Teahupoo is obviously the wave that everyone goes to Tahiti for, and there were definitely some good ones out there this day,” says TSJ assistant photo editor Shawn Parkin, who shot this image of Sebastian Zietz down the road from the End of the Road. “It was inconsistent, though, and the lineup was crowded, so Raimana [Van Bastolaer] suggested we should check this spot on a hunch. It didn’t look like much from the back, mostly just unbroken lines of whitewater coming up onto the reef, but we trusted Raimana, which is kind of the best thing you can do in Tahiti. The first wave we saw from the front sent us scrambling for surfboards and water housings. It was inconsistent, but we had it to ourselves.” Photo: Shawn Parkin

“We only had one decent cyclone swell last year,” says N.Z.-based photographer Rambo Estrada, who shot this image at the peak of Cyclone Pam. “But with El Nino this summer, we should be in store for more tropical systems. It’s probably going to be strong offshore and flat for most of the summer, so pretty much any hope we have of normal swell just gets blown out to sea. But one consolation is that warmer water temps mean more cyclone activity, so we should hopefully see a few more days like this.” Photo: Rambo Estrada

Dane Gudauskas has become a notorious scavenger of the hinterlands for surf over the past few years—land-trekking in Angola, swaddled in rubber in Iceland, and chasing typhoons in Japan. All locations require a willingness to be prepared when the conditions dictate. Keeping the skills sharp between expeditions at Lowers. Photo: Jason Kenworthy

““This was a trip I did with the Malloys and crew in the spring of 2005,” says photographer Jeff Johnson. “Keith and I hit the road in a bio diesel truck, traveling north to Bend, Oregon, then all the way to the tip of Baja. It was a 40-day surfing, climbing, driving, drinking, snowboarding, sleeping-in-the-dirt type of deal, hooking up with all sorts of different characters along the way. We ended up calling it Bend to Baja. As an afterthought, it became a book with the same title, published in 2006. Anyway, this was my first real assignment as a photographer. I’ve always been drawn to lifestyle, whether it’s delivered through words or pictures. For me it’s a subtle thing that’s hard to capture. The morning I took this picture somewhere in Baja I woke up under the “veggie” truck in my sleeping bag, grabbed my camera, and was just sniffing around. I took thousands of photos during that trip, color slides and black-and-white print film, and this is my favorite. It’s the type of image I’m always looking for, even ten years later.” Photo: Jeff Johnson

“The cool thing about Nova Scotia is that it’s essentially a big island,” says photographer Scotty Sherin. “If you’re willing to explore you can usually find quality waves during any swell. Twenty minutes before this photo was taken, on the drive down to the beach, a huge moose crossed the highway. The expression on Kevin Shulz’s face—he was visiting from San Clemente—was priceless. I think it might have been the biggest animal he had ever seen in person. Everybody talks about how cold it is here, and that’s true, it’s cold. It’s just that the waves can be too good to resist, so you learn to deal with it.” Photo: Scotty Sherin

“This photo of John John Florence was shot down on the southeast side of Oahu during Hurricane Guillermo, just one of the tropical systems that boiled up toward Hawaii this summer,” says photographer Tony Heff. “It’s rare to see this wave at this size with light winds, but on this day it was lining up nicely. There were some barrels earlier in the morning, but even though the winds were light, the onshore winds eventually got the best of it. John John, Bruce Irons, Koa Smith, and Ivan Florence almost flew to Micronesia for an unseasonal northwest swell but at the last minute they ended up canceling. Fortunately, they decided to surf locally, from north to south, and we linked up for several sessions. This one was the most memorable by far.” Photo: Tony Heff

“I lost my leg to a tiger shark when I was 18,” says photographer Mike Coots of this board-mount selfie. “I started surfing again about seven years ago with a prosthetic. Now, when I know I’m going to be pig-dogging, I’ll take an Allen wrench and angle the foot a little more, toe out, so I’m not so much on my tippy toes. That way I can get down in position, close to the board.” Photo: Mike Coots

“The south Santa Barbara shore is mostly bad beachbreak peppered with a few nice right-hand points, all well-known and brutally crowded,” says writer/photographer Michael Kew. “The zone is similar to Santa Cruz in terms of microclimate and scenery, but with coyote brush instead of pine trees, and no Bay Area sprawl just over the hill. You can see the influence of Spanish settlers everywhere and especially so downtown, where brick, stucco, and adobe exist with palm trees and tourist traps. North of Goleta, civilization thins fast, and a solo session in good surf is a genuine possibility—you just have to know where to look.” Photo: Michael Kew

The Observer Effect, which describes how the act of observation can change the outcome of a phenomenon being observed, comes into play in everything from quantum mechanics, to the air you leak while checking the pressure in your tires, to the ripples and water droplets a water photographer leaves in a wave face. “While shooting I was trying to be perfectly still so I wouldn’t disrupt the water at all,” says Robbie Crawford of this image of the Wedge. “I wanted it to feel truly empty.” Photo: Robbie Crawford

The western tip of southern Africa sits exposed to the cold Atlantic, primed to cop the full brunt of any storm whipped from the Roaring 40s. As with any storm-riddled stretch of coastline, its big-wave setups are almost as ubiquitous as the shipwrecks those same waves are known to produce. “This spot has been surfed quietly by a handful of locals and traveling brothers and sisters who have fallen in love with its ‘perfection,’” says photographer Alan Van Gysen. “Whereas Dungeons, in Cape Town, is rugged and wild, with unpredictable, shifting sections, this spot is defined and lined up, allowing for the ideal big-wave takeoff and a down-the-line charge into a meaty, barreling, end section.” Photo: Alan Van Gysen

“Never seen a wave do this before,” says South African photographer Sacha Specker. “Not sure I will ever see it again. Being there to photograph it felt like winning the lottery.” Photo: Sacha Specker

This appetizing setup in the South Tasmanian hinterlands only comes to life two or three times a year, which means Rory Sanders and Ben Richardson must have already consumed a gut-full. Photo: Stu Gibson

“That day was truly a day to remember,” says photographer Nick Liotta. “Pouring rain, filthy runoff, every pro in Ventura in the water, and too many photographers on the beach. I decided to swim, which was difficult, but rewarding. I may have missed a few crazy ones, but the waves I did shoot made it worth while. Trevor Gordon stroked into this wave five minutes after getting blown out of another one. It was one of the best tubes of the morning.” Photo: Nick Liotta