A View from Within the Barrel of a Wave


All images courtesy of Clark Little

There is something so special about the barrel of a wave; the fact that water can even sustain such a shape is astounding in itself. Viewed from any angle, barrelling waves are a breathtaking sight, but observing them from within literally opens up a whole new perspective on the ocean. Thank photographer and Waimea Bay shorebreak surfing pioneer Clark Little for offering us this scarcely seen point of view.


Armed with a heavy, trigger-activated camera in water housing gear that shoots ten frames a second, Little braves waves with faces up to 15 feet high. Bobbing in surging swell or crouched facing breakers crashing into the shoreline, he often gets sucked up inside the tubes he is trying to photograph, and can be flown onto the beach as far as 30 feet through the air. It’s a good thing Little is a hugely experienced surfer as needless to say it takes a big set of lungs to do what he does.


Little’s brainstorm was born out of good husbandy when in 2007 his wife decided she wanted a piece of art to decorate the house. According to Little, he “grabbed a camera, jumped in the water, and starting snapping away, capturing the beauty and power of monstrous Hawaiian waves from the inside out.”


Little loves being in the ocean and is stoked to be able to share what he captures on his camera with a wider audience. It’s cool that this passion shines through so amazingly in his photography – and cooler still that we can enjoy it from the safety of our armchairs.

Orange Crush


Sandy Clouds

Frothy Pit


Dark Night

With special thanks to Clark Little for permission to use his incredible shots; visit his website for many more.