SURFING’s photo team is ichiban number one on planet earth, but thousands of their images go unseen. This travesty shall not stand. We give you SURFING’s Five Photos series.
Adriano de Souza // Lipslide // Brazil
I wanted to capture a shot of Adriano for his profile [The Hope, November 2009] that put the reader on the beach in Brazil. I was getting water up at a little restaurant overlooking this break when the sun came out and people started playing in the surf. I told our Brazilian friend that it would be so cool to get an action shot with girls in thongs in the foreground. He laughed and said to do it afterward in Photoshop — but I think that’s cheating, so I bet him I could pull it off…
Brian Toth // Bottom turn // Puerto Rico
Pretty hectic swim that day — a lot of wide ones breaking through to the bottom. That cliff is much closer than the fisheye makes it look, and if you get caught, you can get slammed and stuffed in a cave. That happened to Carlos Cabrera back in the day and he almost drowned. This day, Evan Geiselman snapped a board and had to swim half a mile down the way to a beach to get in and then hike through the jungle over lava rock.
Mike Losness // Frontside air // Barbados
The day before was death-slab Soup Bowls, but this is actually the left that runs into the rip on the other side of the channel. A lot of boondie rocks, but Mike and Yadin [Nicol, also on the trip] were game so we tried to get some punts. I like this shot just because it’s so tweaked. Fisheye fishbowl.
7-foot Sandbar Shark // North Carolina artificial wreck
When I’m at home, I spend a lot of time free-diving for dinner. We have amazing ledges and wrecks and A LOT of sharks. People actually come from all over the world to dive the wrecks and see the sand tiger sharks, and spend their summmers and falls here. This shark was suspicious that I was trying to sneak a grouper off his wreck, so he zoomed me and came in really close. Pretty standard really, but still gets your heart going.
Mark Healy // The Grotto, Saipan
Mark is one of the most accomplished free-dive spear-fishermen in the world. This was inside a national park, so no spear guns, just playing around. You climb down into this enormous hole in the ground and jump into a big pool. Three different caves connect the pool to the open ocean; here, Mark is just hanging out at about 45 feet mid-tunnel. He’s pretty much relaxing. I saw him diving to over 150 feet the next day hunting dog-tooth tuna. Mark is an animal.
—Words and photos by DJ Struntz