Then about 48 hours before the swell was expected to arrive, Moss got an email from his forecaster: “We’re going to see some of the biggest waves we’ve ever seen. It’s going to be a historic day.” He scrambled to get everything lined up—flights, transportation, equipment, jet skis, and ski pilots—and two days later, on the back of a jet ski under bright afternoon Hawaiian sun, he was in the water with dozens of surfers and photographers capturing what many are calling the biggest day of paddle-in surfing in Jaws’ history.
Here, alongside photos from award-winning, Los Angeles-based surf photographer Fred Pompermayer, you’ll find some of Moss’ best images.
Photo: It’s tough to give an exact height of the waves but Moss guesses the biggest ones were 60-to-70 feet tall. Aaron Gold (center) caught what most likely was the largest wave of that day, seen here. Moss was attending to renowned surfer Ian Walsh’s brother, D.K., who suffered whiplash after a bad spill, when Gold dropped in. “I saw him out of the corner of my eye and shot really quick,” says Moss. Unfortunately, Gold almost got hurt as well on this wave. “He got destroyed,” says Moss. “He made it to the bottom of the wave, had nowhere to go, and the wave landed on top of his head.”