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We know that space for Hawai­ian im­agery in surf me­dia is usu­ally re­served for be­tween the months of Novem­ber and Fe­bru­ary, but when this gor­geous sky high im­age of Back­door slid into our in­box we had to let you see it too. It comes cour­tesy of our Amer­i­can amigo, Ryan Craig, who through some good for­tune and pay­ing his dues over many sea­sons, was fi­nally able to snag a bed­room in front of surf­ing’s pre­mier wave for the first time.

“This past Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary I was posted up on the 50 yard line of surf­ings most fa­mous break at The Vol­com House,” re­calls Ryan. “One of the big ad­van­tages of stay­ing on the beach is be­ing able to shoot these short win­dows of bril­liance that hap­pen through­out the day. The con­di­tions change fast in Hawaii so it’s ideal to al­ways have an eye on the chang­ing waves. An­other ad­van­tage was be­ing able to sit back and fly a drone off the porch, which of course was how I man­aged to snag this shot. One of the most strik­ing parts of the im­age is the de­tail of the hun­gry Pipe/Back­door reef wait­ing be­low for the un­lucky surfer.”

We asked Ryan if this de­tailed view of the reef gave him any cheeky for­ma­tions to help with po­si­tion­ing and swimming out there.“The reef at Back­door is no­to­ri­ously shal­low but when you’re swimming out there it’s too hard to see the fea­tures of the reef,” ad­mit­ted Ryan. “The per­spec­tive of the reef is rad­i­cally dif­fer­ent pho­tographed at 100 me­tres up in the sky though. It def­i­nitely adds an el­e­ment of spook­i­ness, but in re­al­ity it’s al­ways been there, you just don’t see it. Per­haps ig­no­rance is bliss?”

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