This was a beautiful day in Tahiti, one of those days where the water's so still it has an oil-like look to it. Plenty of lads paddling, a few towing and pretty much everyone ending up with their own slice of paradise for a few seconds at least. Swimming about you could hardly see where the lip-line was falling as it was so glassy - a real nice day.Mickey Smith
Bocas Del Toro, Panama
Silverbacks captured at a perfect size, light and wind - a magical day. The Red Frog bungalows and myself (Scott Balogh) took Matt Archibold, Russell Smith, and Daniel Jones of Team RVCA to lsurf Siverbacks, Bocas Del Toro. We had some rain in the morning which gave the sky that colour and the surf was pumping. Solid 15-20 foot faces. This wave let me in early but most of the waves out there are just monsters. It seemed like it took an eternity to get to the bottom of the wave, just droping and dropping.
This reef was only discovered a few years back by the Sa'Moana Surf Resort staff. It's located about 1 km from the south shore and can only be accessed by boat. This particular day I decided to hang on the boat to take a few shots of the other guests and to have a rest after seven days straight of surfing in the tropical sun. The swell was new from the south and packed a lot of punch. Earlier in this session the waves were a lot less intimidating but this shot was taken towards the lower end of the tide, about ten or so minutes before the boys got back to the safety of the boat. If you got caught on the inside when a set hit you would get washed across the almost dry reef into the inside lagoon. I think the guy in the red shirt snapped his Tuflite board trying to duck dive a set just after this photo was taken. You can see how much this wave is drawing off the reef - mental. I remember thinking how deep the likes of Slater or Andy Irons would be getting out there, taking off way behind that warping outer section, punching through the backdoor end section and punting a massive air only metres from the boat. If you have surfed this reef you will know how heavy it is to be caught inside.Stuart Fuller
Lombok, Insides Grupok
This was taken at Insides Grupok on Lombok last summer - one of the best days surfing I can remember. We had been in since first light with the swell growing all morning. As the sun rose the light got better and better until it hit this magic angle: lighting the wave perfectly. Having just snapped my Firewire on the set before this one and had swum back to the boat where my girlfriend Clare had the camera and her board as a reserve. I decided to shoot a few shots when this set rolled through catching most people inside but breaking absolutely perfectly. Our little boat almost got rolled by the set as we were anchored too close but we made it and I quickly jumped back in with Clare's board for a few more. Just one of those perfectly sized days, smooth as silk and loads of fun. Pete Burnett
Tom Rezvan surfing E-Bay which is tough to stick at this size. When the sun is out in the late tropical afternoon the water colors are always this gorgeous greenish-blue hue. Tom was running the show during ths session and this shot in a lot of ways exemplifies the Mentawai Islands as whole: perfect waves with beautiful islands in the background and an endless supply of beers waiting back at the resort. Good times.
Jeffreys Bay local Remi Peterson sharing some perfect barrels with the local groms. Taken at Lacerations during a trip around Indonesia in 2007. I tried to add some depth to the picture by putting the local kids in the foreground and I was really pleased with the results.
Most surfers here had tried their hand, oblivious to the true magnitude of the swell at such an early hour. This left almost everyone a spectator for the day ahead. I had initially planned to hire one of the small outriggers, as I had done the year before. However the swell had caught the fishermen unawares and most of the boats had been washed far and wide. There was also so much water movement that no fisherman was going to brave paddling his outrigger out in such a big sea.
I went to a village further inside the bay and hired a decent sized motorised fishing boat. Meanwhile friend and videographer Chris Webb had the intriguing idea of swimming with his camera to get the barrel perspective. This was not before he'd visited the losman of a guy he'd nicknamed 'the mayor', encouraging him to paddle out and take the challenge of the growing swell.
Meanwhile the fishing boat I'd hired finally turned up at the reef in front of my losman. Just as I throwing my gear to the captain, Chris came floating past with his video and didn't hesitate in jumping aboard. He'd been smashed and decribed nearly drowning, but was ready to get some footage from the easy vantage of the boat.
As we got to our side on view of the wave, it became obvious as to the heavy nature of the swell. There were only three surfers out, one nearing the end of a wide session, as well as Glenn and a young Australian named Shaun, both of whom had just paddled out.
The sight and noise of the ocean from the boat was an incredible force of nature. We had timed it for the peak of the swell, and there were about six sets that came through that were thick, giant and brutal - Teahupoo is the only comparison that sprang to mind.
Chris and I were spectators, and although we would've like to have seen Glenn or Shaun drop into glory, nor would've we liked to have seen either of them come to grief. Later that night, after watching Chris's video over a few beers, it became obvious that paddling in had would've been virtually impossible.
Not wanting to accept defeat if there was a hint of opportunity, Glenn was resolute, "Shaun is from West Oz (where they get the odd big day) and he said to me they were the biggest, meanest, roundest right hand barrels he had ever seen, I thought yeah it's pretty heavy out here. I do remember paddling for one of the big ones and it just felt like being on top of this huge slab of ocean. It didn't feel like a wave. I started paddling for it and thought if you don't make this it could be over, I just kind of let it go, I had that Clash song in my head 'death or glory'. After that megga set Shaun and I said that's it, let's just go the next big ones and see what happens. When I was out there those 10-12 sets didn't seem catchable, they were just too steep, they had no bottom to them. Pre-earthquake you could've got down them. The reef raising by a metre or so has really changed the wave. Being out there that day was one of those few surfing days you have in your life that you will never forget.Paul Kennedy
This shot was taken on a small day at Backdoor on the North Shore. The water was so glassy you can see the surfer's reflection in the wave as he sets up for a classic roundhouse.Mark Brown
Costa Rica, Boca Fecula
A shifting sandbar break off a barrier island in Costa Rica - taken way back in March 2005. This break is constantly changing. We usually surf it in the early morning as we did on this occasion, due to the predictable mid-morning onshore winds. It was super clean and the tide was pushing. We had just let five friends off the boat when this perfect peak rolled through. As I shot the picture I remembered thinking how lucky we all were to be surfing this beautiful offshore rivermouth - all by ourselves. Everyone got shacked and had super long rides but we took a pretty good pounding for our spoils. This rivermouth can be very unforgiving. If your cord snaps, and it has happened more than once, your board is washed up into the estuary... lost for good. There also is the constant threat of crocs and I have seen some granddaddies offshore near this break. This rivermouth was named Boca Fecula, after my pal Bill Bennett, who helped in the discovery of this incredible break. Sean Johnstone
Pictured is Joss Ash on a dawn patrol at the racetrack section of Ulawatu. We were staying at Katut's just above the break so we could get the early morning glass before all the Kuta crew arrived. This was the best February in Bali recent surfing history.
Pacific Coast Mexico, Pascuales
One of craziest and most beautiful beachbreaks in the world. The curve of the wave here can be so extreme it becomes impossible to see around the corner. This particular snapshot of paradise was fast but just makeable.José Leonel Salazar Fajardo
This was taken at Padang Padang last September. This unknown was picking off some great waves and cruising through them with style to spare. We spent most of the day just sat on the cliff taking shots and catching sunburn. This swell came towards the end of our three month stay in Indo and we were glad to finally see Padang show her teeth.Pete Burnett