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Shot from Max Lim’s old lot. In the late '50s and early '60s Lim, a local big-wave rider, owned a beachfront lot with two small humble cottages on it, both rentals, usually filled with surfers with the Bay in mind. From the left window of the front cottage, when Waimea was breaking, you could peer out at a wall of white water crashing into the rocks and further down past the boil on the face of the peak, which is a watermark that to this day denotes deep takeoff position. That view from two lots down, to the right of the point, and looking at the backside of the peak, is one of the more interesting perspectives from a lighting, wave form and textural standpoint. Photo: Sean Davey

View through the cabin window of a renegade fishing vessel that had been pursued by Green Peace and Taiwanese authorities for years until it was chased up onto the reef at Padang on Bali’s Bukit Peninsula. Of course, during the initial melee surrounding the grounding the captain and crew disappeared. The fuel oil from the stranded craft ended up leaking into the lineup and onto the fragile reef causing a surfer-uproar that briefly became international in scope. The rusted hull has become a landmark of sorts. Photo: Andrew Shield

Crashed for free in front of the $3,000 a week Volcom House on the North Shore. Camping on public spaces, beaches included, is still technically allowed in Hawaii and you will see that many locals, perhaps in the spirit of the Hawaiian Rights Movement, have set up extravagant semi-permanent encampments at prime beach park locales all along the island coastlines. This impromptu haole love nest appears temporary if well positioned. Over the years many such beach sleepers have fallen into a blissful slumber in the fragrant tropical night air only to be bombed by powerful white water surges that wash their stuff away and leave them soaked, get attacked by hords of mosquitoes that just die to feed on the high blood sugar levels of visiting surfers, or worse yet, harassed at 3:00 a.m. by rowdies loaded on Primo beer. Regardless, it’s a million dollar view and the price is right. Photo: Sean Davey

Local aficionados do not think of her as “The Wedge.” To them, she is simply “Wedge.” Wedge is a state of mind. They have it. You can tell the real guys from the pretenders. It’s something about them. Wedge is typically ridden on reduced mediums, if any, due to the combination of an abstract level of wave power, the two- to three-foot shallow sand bottom, and the fact that most waves end by imploding on themselves. Standup surfers look for very particular days. The spectator fleet is always there. The performance theater aspect is dazzling to all. Hoag Hospital gets so many paralyzed customers from there they have produced a safety film about the place. No other break I can think of has earned that dubious honor. However you approach it, the strategy for riding Wedge successfully in any fashion involves finding a feasible takeoff position. You have three choices: catching the smaller bounce-wave off the jetty and rolling into the Wedge with it backdoor, the dramatic late peak drop from the top of the jacked ledge, and last, the to the right of the peak entry-deep enough for it to be worthy. This looks image to be the later. Come to think of it, no matter how you get in, the exit is an equally serious problem. Photo: Rob Gilley

Maybe not the most ideal place to hit eject, but given the trough behind him, straightening out wasn't really an option. Laurie Towner got absolutely flogged after this ill-timed escape in 2009. He eneded up walking home with his board in three different pieces, an ego sufficiently humbled, and a newfound respect for how heavy the ol' Bay can be. Photo: Peter "Joli" Wilson

Photographer Tom Servais had been feeling a bit long in the tooth, having been a surf photographer for something like four decades, but he said he felt like a young whipper-snapper again when watching Clyde Aikau, at 62 years of age and still an invitee to the Eddie in memory of his little brother, paddle out in really big Bay and charge, finishing in the upper-half of all participants. Servais recalls seeing Clyde and much younger Hawaiian standout Ross Williams both caught inside during a mammoth set and Clyde shouting encouragement to Ross, “Let’s get back out there!” Ross replied with something like, “Fuck that! I’m going home, Clyde." Photo: Zak Noyle/A-Frame

Why are all the world's great left points in warm, tropical locales, while seemingly all the right points are always cold? Case in point, goofy footers get Desert Point. In terms of quality, set-up, and scenery, it's about as flawless a wave as you're going to find anywhere in the world. And sure, regular footers get the splendor of J-Bay and Rincon, but really, who wants to spend their life wearing a wetsuit. Oh, the joys of being a little goofy. Photo: Jason Reposar

A half of a mile west of the Pipeline circus is the Keiki shorebreak. It's not necessarily a surfable wave, but it can be rewarding if you are of the body whomping ilk. The impact zone at Keiki has also served Clark Little well, allowing him to virtually set up is own studio at the exact point where the surf meets the sand. Over the past few years Clark may have gained more notoriety for his work at Waimea, but he'll be the first to tell you, all the experimentation takes place "down at Keiki." Photo: Clark Little

Stop by the Sharks Cove Surf Shop on the right day in December and there’s no telling who just unloaded their winter quiver. You’re apt to find Joel Parkinson’s Sunset arsenal, or perhaps any number of Jordy Smith's shortboards, complete with skanky cougar airbrush and $600 price tag. Over the last few years the shop, which is owned by Liam McNamara, has become a clearing house for homeward bound pros. It’s also a good place to rent a SUP…if you’re into that kind of thing. Photo: Tom Servais


It's been a banner year at Waimea. There have been too many "all-time" sessions to count, the Eddie was done well before Christmas, and it's hardly let up since. At the moment, Shane Dorian and Mark Healey find themselves frontrunners for the Billabong XXL paddle-in award for a wave that Shane is sure is the biggest he's ever paddled into. And even with all that action, no matter how many seasons and sessions go by, no matter how many drops or disasters we've beared witness too, it never gets old. Photo: Andrew Shield

Should you stay or should you go? That's always the question when ambling down an uncharted highway. The safe bet may be right in front of you, but don't you owe it to yourself, as a surfer, to see what's around the bend. New Zealand is chock full of these instances. Photo: Logan Murray

When I think back on the '70s it seems like it was the last call for kneeboarding. The endangered species was shrinking rapidly into the '80s, and was all but gone by the '90s.  What happened? It was so popular , or so it seemed, with pods of riders at any given spot.  I've always thought the interest stemmed from all of the media about George Greenough in Surfer and the photos of him laying it over with the fin out at Honolua, Lennox and Rincon. Any photo shoot would always include the odd knee boarder getting a good set wave. Terry Hendricks was always out a La Jolla Shores, and there was always two or three out at Blacks. The Huffmans controlled Big Rock, Buddy McCray and Ron Fredirico roamed from V-Land to Backdoor, and Peter Crawford was getting pitted at North Narrabeen. There was nothing more stunning than to see a competent kneeboarder like Steve Lis go to places on a wave, with speed, that no surfer could do.  Up at Newport Ron Romanosky made a living off shaping the boards until his business fell off in the '90s. Am I wrong? Where have they all gone? A friend of mine reported a rare sighting while in the Mentawai's. A boat pulled up to where he was surfing and off jumped eight kneeboarders. As they say, you don't see that everyday. Photo/Words: Jeff Divine

At this moment the photog's thought bubble would read. "Got it! Scroll back, scroll back. Got it! I'm so glad I'm not hanging on the beach with the other dinousaurs, I know the mag will use this one. Looks like a cover! There are so many photogs out here. Here's a set. Oh shit, hard right, away from impact zone, not too far, dive, who did I hit under water, there's a radical barrell, too far away. Another giant set. Cramp in leg. It's twitching. Out too long. Still 189 shots left on the card. I'm swimming in. Wait for the lull. Swim as hard as you can. Pick a four-footer. Body surf. Cannon shot onto the sand. Down load and send. Then get depressed with the $20 web sale." Photo: Pat Stacy.

Foam stack and finished shape, Gary Linden Surfboards, Oceanside, CA. Conducting the transformation from molded plastic chemicals to organic handmade wave riding tool is ironic and addicting. That the shapers become popular cult figures is understandable when one considers the sensations delivered via the use of the instrument they craft. A quite eccentric female physician once instructed me when asked whether doctoring was art or science, “It is a practice!” Photo: Divine

The set-up allows you to sneak up so close to the mayhem that the wave’s aquatic concussion can be felt vibrating your lower intestines. The world’s most stunning wave phenomenon, Teahupo, Tahiti, when big, is a one-of-a-kind experience. The deep water channel from shore to reef is adjacent a shallow coral shelf that at the outer corner of the reef line, takes in-coming swells full force, then catapults them into ungodly massive symmetrical tunnels that man has discovered can be ridden. The deep water shuts down the wave power so that, right there it’s death, while safely here you can almost reach out and touch it. Going out in a boat and absorbing that scene is a true life experience that can be had for money. Riding one of those waves is infinitely more costly. Photo: Joli