Bodysurfing Underneath Banzai Pipeline, North Shore, Oahu

by Owen James Burke

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For many years now, the surfing community’s elite have spent their winters congregating on the North Shore of Oahu waiting for the massive winter swells that appear from the north. Much of the winter, however, the North Shore becomes a windy, stormy, tortured body of water not conducive in the slightest to wave riding.

Photographer Morgan Maassen and 5-time world surfing champion Stephanie Gilmore decided one day to head out to Banzai Pipeline in some less-than-desirable conditions and shoot some underwater bodysurfing photographs.

Gilmore let her body sway and move with the currents. This photo is rather unorthodox in that sense, as she is not riding a wave; she is letting her body conform to the aftershock.

Photos like this from days that would have otherwise been written off always remind me that there is a moment to be experienced and captured at any given time. You just have to find it.

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