David Pu’us Golden Moment

Stuffing my surf gear into a green canvas backpack, I loaded up at the end of the day to leave one of my favorite surf spots.  A long day of surfing smooth swells had my body still surging and moving like the ocean even after I walked out onto the shore.  I shouldered the backpack, hefted a long surfboard in its silver wrapper under my arm and started hiking the steep upward trail leading away from the beach. The trail was a sharp muddy set of steps leading into a lush forest.  A mile through the forest sat my car and the ride home.

Reaching the top of the trail some 200 feet above the curved beach, I stopped and turned for one last look into the ocean.  It was early evening.  As I turned the sun dropped to just the right place that it kissed the sea out on horizon. In an instant, the ocean turned to roiling, liquid gold.  I was stunned.  The suns light seemed to fill the ocean and transformed iit.  I quickly dropped my backpack to the ground and searched its pockets for a camera.  There was none.   

My camera was 110 miles away at home. On my desk.  

So I stood up and glared back out at the ocean, forcing my mind to remember every detail of this breathtaking golden scene.  The sea surged and shuddered, a rippling metallic sheet.  Waves slowly rolled in, peaking to a crest and then breaking over into golden explosions.  I opened my eyes achingly wide to drink in every second.  Then the sun dipped below the edge of the ocean at the horizon.  The golden light winked out. It was gone. I reshouldered my pack, picked up my surfboard and walked away into the woods.

David Pu’u mission is to seek out this living, golden love affair between sun and ocean.  He travels, surfs and swims. He also packs his camera.  Living in California helps as well since the sun seems to love the water especially on those oceans.  David hoists himself out of bed before dawn to paddle out and meet the sun’s early rise.  He stays late with friends at their favorite surf spot to catch the suns last golden touch on the water.  He captures these moments in his camera with a skillful hand, inviting us join him in water turned to heaving gold.

Like any true blooded surfer, David’s photos never tell you their location. But I don’t think David is really interested in one specific  beach  or one especially good swell.  He is looking for that instant when everything comes together - waves, water, surfer and sun all meet up and somehow merge.
He captures the time when time dissolves and everything just feels right. 

Isn’t that what surfing is all about?  Finding the golden moment and losing yourself in it.  

[ View David Pu’u Portfolio or better yet follow him on Facebook ]

Santa Cruz'n

Do surfers are a bore you? Do they well you long stories about the incredible, dramatic moments they experienced in the water? That majestic, awesome expanse of sky that seemed to burn like curtain of lava. The brilliant ripples of light in the distance and the heaving, ghostly green walls of waves. They are wearing out the words while our non surfing friends slip ever deeper into boredom.

My advice to is this : stop talking. Instead, click on the link to Astrocruzan's Flickr portfolio. Better yet, hit the link to his Surf Photo Set. Luxuriate in the colors. Let the power of the water overwhelm your eyes in silence.  [ View Portfolio ]


Doug Acker must spend countless hours driving the two lane tarmacs of Florida's East coast looking for great surf. Occasionally he finds it. More often he finds the rolling, bumpy slush that serves as daily surf fare along America's deepest southern shore. flsurfer.com is more of an 'action shot' site than an artistic site. It features endless pages of young shortboarders swacking the lip and cutting back with a fantail spray across a crumbly wave face. There is passion and a lot of energy in his shots, regardless of the water conditions. I also give Doug high marks for organizing the site into such an easily navigated gallery. I can't even begin to look through all the photos. And Doug seems to be everywhere - on every beach and scouting every wave. If you surf the great south land you may well find yourself captured in one of his galleries. You can even buy a shot of yourself from Doug, much like the Hawaiian surf tourists who frequent Hawaiian Water Shots. He also features the best daily surf cams for his area and has pulled together an impressive list of links to get you connected with the east coast surf scene in Florida. So stop worrying about what the surf report says and go for a drive along the southern coast. You'll see Doug where ever you go. [ view gallery ]

Learn to Shoot Great Surf Yourself

After your eyes have started to water with tears of amazement when that digital surf shot just jumps off the page you ask yourself 'Why Can't I shoot something like that?". The answer is "Maybe you can!". Kenny Onufrock's Digital Surf Photography blog delivers an extensive eduction on everything from shutter speed to special effects. Kenny will get you juiced up with great ideas and impressive examples. Next it's your turn to hit the beach and start shooting! [ go to Dpsurfer.com ]

Nelscott Where?

I always wonder when people say they have 'discovered' a new wave. It was always there. The only new thing is that someone saw it and took out a jet ski and ... rode it. So it is with Nelscott Reef in Oregon. This rolling behemoth has been right in the middle of everything for years. Only now there is a contest, and jet skis and corporate sponsors and ... great photos. [ View the 2007 Gallery. ]

Aaron Chang's SoCal Sunlight

A long time ago Aaron Chang uncovered the secret of Southerm California. It's about the light. That gorgeous, buttery golden light that falls from heaven and turns the water into a luminescent, living thing. The land locked regions of SoCal may be covered by sunburned cement and endless rows of sheet steel strip malls but the water is magically alive. And the surfers who enter this magic find moments that will last forever. [ View Gallery ]

Michael Halle's Oregon

Last year Michael graciously let me use the photo above in my web announcement for a non-profit surf camp. Since that time I have been following Michael's work with keen interest, hoping for more of Oregon's jagged, powerful surf scene. While Mr. Halle spends most of his time up at the mountain skiing, he has found a few weekends to pull out the long lens camera at some of Oregon's favorite surf spots. [ View portfolio. ]