Spencer on his first wave of the day. He had been slow getting in due to feeling a little unwell. The previous night we had perhaps had a jar more than was sensible and Spencer more than most of us. It was a Saturday and barrelling on every wave without a soul out. The massive cliffs at this beach are deceptive, making the waves seem smaller than they actually were. This picture has painful memories.
Greg Long, Valtos, Outer Hebrides
This shot was taken on the west side of Waimea Bay. You typically don’t see Waimea from this angle. Funny thing is this photo was taken in mid summer, which is normally flat on the North Shore of Oahu. There was a ‘small’ swell and a lot of sand built up on the beach so the end result was this shorebreak with a lot of backwash.
What I think makes the shot is the guy preparing for impact and the the two kids casually taking off for a good bodywhompin’. When I look at this photo I always put myself in the shoes of the unlucky guy preparing for a good pounding. Not to worry he survived, but promptly exited the water!
Mark Brown, Waimea Bay, North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii
We were a bit tipsy and borrowed a dingy from a local shop to perform the stunt, I’m not sure how much I can say about that… The surf was firing, we used spades instead of paddles and the reef was shallow. I’ll never forget it. Read the full story HERE.
Rohan Inglis,Portleven, UK
It was a nice day at the beach I was taking shots of my boys on boogie boards and drifted over to the surfers . The waves where small but nice and I got some great shots that day. This gentleman was the best. He got a nice wave, turned left, going good, turned right, big mistake… the face plant. The picture says it all.
Ray McCauley, Playa Negra, Costa Rica
Taken a few miles south of Bude, on a freezing cold 23rd January 2008. I lost count of the wipeouts that day. You can see how shallow the water is here by the sand being dredged up the face of the wave, it’s savage. This guy really hurt his back, had to have x-rays and ended up on crutches for a while afterwards. Everywhere else on the North Cornish coast was maxing out, only one place to shoot, if you know how to get there…
Clive Symm, A few miles south of Bude
This session was at a spot called Off The Wall which bears no resemblance what-so-ever to its Hawaiian counterpart. This wave forms on a very specific tide in front of the tidal pool of an old beach-side entertainment area which now houses restaurants and the famous Brass Bell pub in Kalk Bay, Cape Town. These guys let the first wave of the set pass beneath them and then catch the second wave, racing toward the oncoming backwash and boosting. It was just so refreshing to check guys out there for the pure pleasure of it… sometimes taking off three abreast on the same wave and smacking the backwash in simultaneous air-reverse, invert and a face-plants combined with the grand finale - the air-walk into the flats!
Pictured is Jayden Alford-Loots providing awesome entertainment which it is, of course, greatly appreciated by the afternoon drinkers at the pub. Thankfully there are seldom any injuries considering that this wave breaks less than 10 meters from a solid concrete wall! Michel Dei-Cont, Off The Wall, (not Hawaii) but Cape Town
It was the decent sized swell we had hoped would arrive for many days and everybody was pumped up with adrenalin. I was shooting for www.faith-21.com and some Oz friends joined in. I clearly remember this wave, sphincter puckering 5+ meters high (my bad guess ). My friend Al is the one in the middle, dumping his bord and preparing for a fair hold-down. Luckily he didn´t hit the rocks too badly and nothing but a couple of boards got injured. The local shapers earned a good wage in board repair that day.
Jason F Richter, Anchor Point, Taghazout, Morocco
The swell was epic that day, it peaked the the night before and several warungs along Kuta beech were demolished and washed out to sea . By the time I had taken this photo it had calmed down a bit. There was a small crowd on the cliff overlooking the break chatting about how big it was, we were all throwing our opinion in, then a local pipped up said without a hint of irony, “Bali - 4 feet.
I’m sure the guy was fine after his free-fall, I cant say the same for his board though. If i remember rightly he was picked up by a rescue boat that seemed to be on its way back from Ulus where i’m sure it had had a busy day already with the tow-in crowd.
Liam Hinshelwood, Padang Padang, Bali
They where out body boarding and the swell was just getting bigger and bigger as a storm was coming in. They carried on surfing after the incident but with a lot of pain. The moment was so good that the guys were just laughing and laughing.
Ryan P, Sennen Cove, Cornwall
Two days after the end of the Mundaka WCT 2008, La Graviere fired up properly for the first time of the season. Chris Ward was one of the very first guys out, closely followed by CJ Hobgood and a handful of locals who enjoyed perfect barrels for a couple of hours. Later on, they were joined by a few more top 44 surfers that came up from Capbreton after hearing that la Graviere was ‘ON’ (among them Kai Otton, Micky Picon, Jeremy Flores and even King Kelly). BUT by then, the tide had shifted a little and the barrels were not so makeable anymore as a few riders found out the hard way. The morning claimed at least 4 boards I know about (possibly more). The Volcom rider pictured and his board survived that wipeout only to die on a later set…
Captain Kid, La Graviere, Hossegor
The girl is a local who has lived in Costa Rica for a few years and the other guy was a visitor to Playa Negra. They started out at opposite ends of the peak and met in the middle. I saw it coming way before it happened and was totally ready for the collision.
John Lyman, Playa Negra, Costa Rica
So many wipeouts here at the ‘Mexpipe’ beach break it’s hard to remember them all - but this one I do remember.
It was a hard wipeout that took the wind out of him for a while. He did come in and sit on the beach for 5 min before heading back out. He continued to surf the rest of that morning and was just fine. I first surfeed in 1953 and in 2003 I just had the need for the beach so I headed for Mexico and have been down here in Puerto Escondido every since and loving it.
Lonnie Caruthers, Puerto Escondido, Mexico
I have often labeled this picture “The Headless Surfer”. The surfer, Jeff Farwell, seems to defy the laws of physics and for the first few looks appears to have no head. It was a clean day, overcast and Jeff Farwell surfed for almost 4 hours. Not too cold that morning but frosty on the fingers. Very late for work that day but lots of laughs as evident from the picture.
Patrick Milner, Cow Bay, Nova Scotia
It was one of the rare days when the swell was big enough for the Cribbar to work. Only three guys in the water, Chris Bertish, Ben Granatta and Simon Jayhem. The guy wiping out is Ben. Ben and Chris went on to form the British Tow-in Association, but all rides on this day were paddle-ins. Chris had a really classic ride and one of my pics was featured in the national newspapers.
By the time Ben had fallen to the bottom of the wave he was upside down with a mass of water pushing him under. Afterwards, he reported that he had not hit the bottom.”
Geoff Tydeman, Cribbar Reef, Newquay, UK
It was an epic day in 2005, post-earthquake, so the reef had been lifted. Same day as I took the ‘rainbow man’ shot that’s become quite well known due to the perfection of the wave. This guy wiping out is an Aussie by memory, good surfer but a blew this one somehow. I don’t think he was too worried about it.
Paul Kennedy, Lagundri Bay, Nias
It was a huge high tide and a big swell, Mitch Corbett had just spent 10 minutes swimming to catch his board after the leash had snapped, the next wave he caught just went stupid.
Tony Plant, Towan backwash, Newquay
If you liked this, check out volume two, Wipeouts Redux HERE
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