A storm will blow for hours or days generating waves that will travel thousands of miles eventually breaking on some far off coast. On that journey a wave will hardly shift the position of any of the water molecules it carries. Only the energy of the wind travels, not the water around it. As a surfer I’ve been tossed every which way by waves. Depending on the force, it can slam you into the ocean bottom or calmly lap over your board. One second you’re riding on top of one, or pushing through one, and the next second that wave has broken, it’s gone.
If you’re lucky enough to be a surfer you’ve had a privileged perspective of a breaking wave, inside out, while getting barreled, curling over you while you duck dive under. Thanks to Mark Tipple’s Underwater Project you can now see these waves from below the surface. What’s incredible about Mark’s photos, and something I’ve rarely seen in other underwater wave photos, is the human connection. How does the wave effect a person as it washes over them? How does the body contort around the energy of the wave? Have a look, these are beautiful photos.
A great making of video: