Pipeline’s earthquaking waves are like the Pied Piper’s flute for surf photographers. The bone-crushing sound of the raw ocean energy pounding the reef calls to all surf photogs to emerge from the tropical woodwork, plant their tripods in the sand, take aim and shoot, in hopes of capturing the carnage and glory.

Numbered among the hundreds of lenses pointed at the lineup on this North Shore day in 2004 was a very green surf photography newbie, Ryan “Chachi” Craig. Unintimidated by his inferior camera gear, and motivated his goals to make-it in the surf photography game, Chachi slowed down his shutter speed as the sun set and snapped the beautiful speed blur of white wetsuit-era Kelly Slater chasing down a reeling Pipe guillotine. The photo ended up being the spark to Chachi’s illustrious surf photography career.

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