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There are many paths, short and long, for seekers of the culminating hover-and-stall through glassy morning beachbreak. Cory Lopez takes the abbreviated route to shapely Mexican peaks, his wetsuit still damp from a Stateside session. Photo: Anthony Ghiglia

The self-preservation impulses of fight or flight are rendered immaterial at late winter Pipeline. When sets organize on the reef more neatly than IRS filing cabinets, you can scratch for your life or stay planted in the sweet spot with no increase to the odds of gaining refuge. Photo: Sean Davey

Maybe you saw pictures of waves like this one labeled “Nias” and described with some amount of hyperbole. Adjectives like “perfect” and “empty” made the China Airlines spring airfare special and the requisite hustle through bus and ferry stations in 100-degree heat feel like kind of a bargain until you arrived, zinc-coated, with your board underarm, and realized that the wave described with some amount of hyperbole was in fact a slab of near-dry coral, unrideable for all but the most brave and desperate to escape the pack of 40-plus surfers on the actual peak—just around the corner from the wave described with some amount of hyperbole. Photo: Kevin Voegtlin

35-degree water, air temps in the 20s, and a few inches of snow blanketed Long Beach Island, New Jersey, on Saturday, February 9. An hour after watching a surplus of empty lefts reel by unridden, photographer Jonathan Hoover totaled his car mobbing through deep waters on the ride home. “Was it worth it?” his friend asked him. If Hoover were from Hawaii, his response may have been different. That he replied in the affirmative is testament to the high tolerance for suffering the cold that surfing in the northeast breeds. Photo: Jonathan Hoover

"Some turns are rare and getting rarer in the era of lightweight, disposable designs," Derek Hynd wrote of the vanishing art of the committed bottom turn in TSJ issue 22.1. Even on his friction-free crafts, Hynd still manages to commit to a few Barry Kanaiaupuni-inspired hooks off the bottom, noting that "B.K. could never plot a soul arch when a FOBT was in order." Photo: Pete Frieden/A-frame

Hello. And welcome to the Cacimba Café. I’m your server, Fernando, and today we’re offering our house special: the Waterberg Wedge, with an optional side of locally-grown, free-range peak-jockey Victor Ribas, tossed in mint greens, and served over a bed of sand churned in-house. Of all our cuts and varieties of wedge, it is by far our most popular and modestly priced. Enjoy. Photo: Pete Frieden

If "Surfers Paradise" and "Surf City" were ever accurate descriptors of their respective locales, they're growing misnomers as the sand in places like Australia's Gold Coast becomes an essential commodity for continued development. Still, when the fall-time deluge of cyclones push swells into the points and beaches, there are still more than a few sand-packed paths for the choosing. Photo: Andrew Shield

Airline flights compared and booked and measured against company policy and oversized baggage fees. Calls about text messages and emails about swell charts delivered to personal computers. Models, "the charts," approximations of the real thing. Men standing over coffins. Guns stacked in bags. Boyhood fantasies and larger-than-human projections resized to your handheld device. All of it forgetten between churning water and a pack of neoprene-laden men. All of it absurd when leaning into the bowl, blinded by an east breeze. Dan Malloy, thoughtless and pure kinetic energy at Mavericks. Photo: Frank Quirarte

Paul Has strains through a warm mucus of sand and salt, dilating the North Shore's walls to maximum capacity, straining toward the light for a fresh glimpse at the world outside. Photo: Foley/A-Frame

As seen in our print feature, Chris Klopf has a kink for the Future Primitive—new surfing on old equipment. That retro jive. So he invites the scene's vivid citizenry to his stretch of beach, and they burn through some memory cards and some beers.

Here, Knost jams the brakes for a connection with Klopf on the shoulder.  For more from Klopf's extra credit gallery of moments from this past winter, click here.

Early season in Hawaii used to be a sneaky time of year. Sneaky swells, sneaky sessions. "Back in the day" October was the calm before the storm on the North Shore. But the coconut wireless has since been high-graded to wifi, and now not a ripple trickles through without somebody posting it on Facebook or typing cryptic tweets on their smartphone. The drama of "opening day at Jaws" was well scrutinized almost before Shane Dorian even pulled into what he's since called the best wave of his life. On Oahu, Pipeline awoke and moved some sand around and the outer reefs hinted at what could be this El Nino-fueled winter. But there's solace in knowing that even with all of the hype and hoopla surrounding every pulse that steams down from the North Pacific, just dodging shorebreak is enough to keep you on your toes. Photo: Bernie Baker

Locked and loaded during the shoot of Keith Malloy's film "Come Hell or High Water." If you haven't taken the time, plant your belly on the couch and take it in, you'll be a true believer in the beauty of whomp by the time the credits roll. Photo: Chris Burkard

Proud father: "5:30 a.m. Newport Beach, CA, two days ago before the crowd! Check out how close he is to the beach...two feet of water! Ahhhhh, to be young and foolish again, huh? The rider........Cooper Jack McCoy." Photo: Jack McCoy

Before there were the Mentawais, the Bintang-fueled boat trips. Before Bali became Waikiki with bemos, there was a time in the glorious saga that is Indonesian surf history in which G-Land reigned supreme. As surfers we've uncovered a lot of perfect waves since those early days in the jungle with the tigers and the tree house and what not. And while time always rush forward like an incoming tide, some things remain fantastically the same. Dave Thomas, G-Land camp photographer, hell surfer, father of one. Photo: Mike Findlay

 

One typically sees Puerto Escondido front lit, big, blue and barrelling. But playing with light, color, contrast, saturation and grain's a photographers delight, as evidence by this moody bomb. Same wave we've seen a thousand times, different look. Photo: Luciano Hinkle