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Photos of the day

Improving upong the techniques established decades ago, a new crew of big-wave surfers finds itself leading the charge in heavy water. Aaron Gold, looking to stomp the landing. Photo: Pompermayer

In the late '70s and early '80s, guys like Shaun Tomson and Dane Kealoha pioneered the pig-dog stance, a barrel-riding technique that was at first more functional than it was stylish. Pig-dogging allowed surfers to drop in late and deep, but between the crouching, the ass-dragging, and the outside-rail death grip, it wasn't exactly a graceful picture. Now, after a few decades of refinement, form has caught up to function, and the best surfers in the world have backside tube riding down to an art form. Here, Matt Wilkinson goes to town on a South African canvas for our January 2016 Issue. Photo: Chachi

​Sometimes you have to go to the ends of the earth to find an uncrowded wave, while other times you just have to go outside your comfort zone. "We watched it for 10 years, but thought it was impossible to surf," says Tiago Pires of The Cave in Portugal. "Then one day some friends and I decided we had to try it. We all agreed that whoever got the best barrel would get to name the wave, and I got one where I pulled into the barrel, went over two steps, and came out screaming. I named it 'Cave,' which means 'basement' in Portuguese, because of the steps. In the past few years it's gotten more well-known, but it's still seldom surfed. You see it perfect and empty more days than you see people out." Photo: Carey

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