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Mundaka, Basque Country. December has been particularly good with several North Atlantic swells arriving at our shores. This day the waves were about 9ft and the strong wind made them difficult to surf. The best Basque surfers, like Eneko and Kepa Acero, Natxo Gonzalez and Hodei Collazo, were all there. As with all the good days, surfers from all around the world were getting barrelled at the world class rivermouth. © 2014 Oscar Martinez Diego
Pipeline, Oahu. I will always remember Black Friday at Pipeline. I had have never seen such waves before, not even close. When the sets came rolling in, the anticipation grew high in everybody on the beach. Can't imagine what the surfers felt. One to three surfers would always start paddling hard. This wave gave Dave Wassel a long ride. Starting at second reef, then on to the last heaving barrel section close to shore. This wave was on the upper end size wise, but there were bigger and cleaner ones; somehow John John was on most of them. © 2014 Mattias Hammar
Ocean Beach, California. On Monday December 16th Ocean Beach caught fire. Those who could make it past the walls of white were treated to one of the sessions of the year. The rest simply stood and slack jawed in wonder. © 2014 Don
Bore, Norway. This shot was taken two days after the big winter storm that hit. We had consistent solid waves for a week. Typically Norway's best surfing months are also the coldest. Air temps fluctuate from -3 to +5°C, while water temps stay around 4 to 5°C degrees from October to February, which usually keeps the crowds nice and thin. © 2014 Jimbo Baggins
Greenmount, Queensland. This was a good day with clean little barrels wrapping in and not many people out. There were a few photographers by the shore, but I decided to move back to include this pair of birds. © 2014 surfholidays.ru
Slab, Nova Scotia. Not quite a pot of gold. I love this place, but the swell and wind weren't quite combining this time. © 2014 Rosko
Blacks Beach, California. One of the best waves in California when it's on. That morning, at sunrise, it was definitely on. The submarine canyon coming close to the shore funnelled a long period of swell, which created the perfect conditions. About 4 dolphins were playing in the waves at that time. It is not uncommon to see 2 or 3 jumping over the wave simultaneously. When the waves are 10ft plus, I always go to that spot. With a fast camera and a lot of patience, you can get some great rewards. © 2014 Laurent Imagery
Bayhead, New Jersey. Tom Petriken setting the table for his Thanksgiving Day breakfast feast here in NJ. © 2014 Ben Currie
East Beach, Rhode Island. Earlier in the morning this spot wasn't good but I still decided to check it again later. Against my expectations, as I came down the hill waves such of this were grinding away. I've been at school up in Maine Maritime Academy, so this was my first time home since summer. It certainly was a pleasant gift to come back to. © 2014 QuonnieRI
Umdloti, South Africa. Summer in South Africa is the best in the world. An easy swim in warm waters led to this wide open cavern with a view only a surfer knows. © 2014 clarkecaptions
Greenbush, Mentawai. Jason Hoole throws up the peace sign, hoping to avoid a violent encounter with the reef. © 2014 Jason Seabourn
Padang Padang, Bali. I remember very well this date because I arrived on the Bukit early and the waves were perfect everywhere. It wasn't the biggest of days, but the direction couldn't have been better. I was shooting all day, but the highlight was Nick Chong sliding into this beautiful green pit at sunset. © 2014 Liquid Barrel
Sopelana, Basque Country. It was about 9 ft swell, but some sets were larger. Offshore wind groomed the surface making it a perfect day for line-up shots. I've always liked the photos where you can see the waves in their environment, with references to the coast where you can see their dimensions. I was looking for different angles and I chose this beautiful house at Sopelana beach with a surfer riding the wave in the background. © 2014 Oscar Martinez Diego
Mundaka, Basque Country. Well just a month ago we didn't have any waves for almost a month, and suddenly this week has been crazy. Mundaka has been pumping for the last 3 days, with 2m+ waves. I don't know who the guy is, but yesterday all the pros from the Basque Country were there (Aritz Aranburu, Hodei Collazo, Indar Unanue, Txaber Trojaola, Eneko Acero, Kepa Acero). He made the barrel. © 2014 EKT Photos
Elands Bay, South Africa. It was the first wave to come through and the first shot. By this time our frothometer had gone into the red and we had to run back to the car to suit up. This is what we woke up to, and at one point there were only six of us in the water. © 2014 Terry Donnelly
Holyoke, New Jersey This shot was taken later in the day, probably about 2:30pm. I had been in the Ortley Beach area in the morning with a bunch of friends up from LBI. We decided to check Beach Haven/Holyoke and upon arrival saw it was nearly perfect. Not as big as elsewhere, but breaking just right. I was standing on the beach shooting some friends and I saw a break in the clouds where the sun was lighting up southern Beach Haven. I snapped a few pics and this was the best. Session highlights would be the bombs that rolled through unridden, and of course my friends getting some sick waves. Its not the best I have seen, but definitely close. All in all a great day, but I should have put the camera down and surfed myself. © 2014 Dan Cirlin
Pipeline, Oahu. Pipeline saw a flurry of west swells towards the end of 2013. This day, just prior to Christmas, was one of the best in recent years. © 2014 Shogo
Slab, New South Wales. Nature was producing abstract art long before Kandinsky gave it a go. © 2014 teewhyphotos
Ocean Beach, San Francisco. December 29th was one of the cleanest offshore days Ocean Beach has ever produced. The day fell in line with the last three weeks which have provided firing offshore conditions since the beginning of December. It has definitely been an epic run for Northern California. © 2014 Don
Waimea, Oahu. Jamie O'Brien towed into this towering Waimea shorebreak. His buddies manned a makeshift winch motor from the beach as Jamie paddled out with the tow rope. © 2014 dtamarack
Good waves are the most welcome of Christmas presents. A fleeting moment upon a pulse of oceanic energy, leaving you with a sense of well being and no wasted wrapping paper. This album is packed full of watery gifts, gratefully received by surfers from Norway to the North Shore. Your pleasure might be vicarious, but it’s well worth taking a leisurely browse to enjoy the end-of-year offerings.
The stories behind the best user photographs of October.
The stories behind the best user photos of September.