Under Teahupoo

The wave at Teahupoo is renowned among surfers as one of the "heaviest" waves in the world. Videographer Ben Thouard filmed the great wave and its surfers from underwater. 

There are so many things I love about this. For starters, it really shows how shallow the water sits over the reef. This is a huge wave breaking only a few feet (or less) over a razor-sharp bottom. Failure can be very painful - or fatal. I was also fascinated by the varieties of turbulence beneath the glassy surface of the breaking waves - momentarily stable vortexes, parallel streamers like jet contrails, rolling thunderheads of air mixed with water. Then the shimmering, distorted figures of the surfers fly by, shadows on a warped sky, their fingertips trailing the glass, like spirits just skimming the surface of a magnificent, hostile world.

Head over here (or, holy crap, here) for some video of what Teahupoo looks like from above the surface, on a "good" day.