Pipeline in Focus: The Many Moods of the World's Most Photographed Wave

Pipeline has many moods–from the near playful small days to the exceedingly scary swells that seem to stack waves miles out to sea. Whether they're the empty waves that people often see online or the ones that sneak through on a crowded day, each Pipe wave has its own unique look and energy.

Pipeline is anything but the ruler-edged perfection you might see in Indonesia or Fiji. In reality, Pipe is a ferocious slab that shifts back and forth along the reef, moving further and further out on the reef system as the swells increase or change direction. Front-lit in the morning hours and deeply backlit during the afternoon and evening, Pipeline is the most photographed wave on the planet and a wave that most photographers like myself will never get tired of shooting.

I've been lucky enough to shoot Pipe over the past couple of winters–at its most tempestuous and its most serene. 

Ryan "Chachi" Craig Surfer Magazine