Front: Maui – Surf Line


Introducing Season 2: Episode 8 of our original series celebrating the world’s leading surfing communities by showcasing their unique wave landscapes, culture and local surfers, as documented by resident filmmakers. Watch season 1 here.


Video: Dan Norkunas

“How lucky are we? “ Legendary Maui shaper Matt Kinoshita rhetorically asked Surfline in 2011. “We have three waves known around the world: Maalaea, Honolua Bay and Jaws, so our kids can make names for themselves however they want and choose. their avenue to perform: Peahi for big waves; Lahaina Harbor and the Breakwall for tips; open waves on the Puamana side; garbage in Hana… Everyone has their own different ocean agenda, so they’ve all made a name for themselves doing unique things. That’s what Maui has to offer: beachbreaks and Jaws and everything in between. There are some places where the ancients reign, some places that are crowded no matter what, but if you are willing to drive for half an hour, you will find an empty place.

World capital of windsurfing and windsurfing, the island valley was born naturally from surfing, kitesurfing and foiling. But all that progression has never detracted from the magic of Maui’s most haunting right-wing reefs – Honolua Bay, the psychedelic bowling and barrel muse of the Shortboard Revolution, and Maalaea, “aka the world’s fastest wave. “- no, that didn’t undermine the aerial magic evoked in the clandestine assortment of creeping teepees, slipways, cavernous slabs and beachbreaks against the Maui tide. And if that’s not wrong, Peahi, arguably the best big wave in the world, sits just offshore, beckoning.

This is precisely why Maui has produced everything from Big Wave World Champions and Junior World Champions to World Tour competitors and freesurf movie stars; not to mention the pipeline specialists, iconic surfers and aerial super-freaks who quit NBD (never done) every other season.

“Part of the reason these kids are doing so well is that we are isolated,” Kinoshita added. “These kids are growing up dreaming about what professional surfing is and how good the rest of the world should be, all based on the movies they watch. So they set their standards very high. Then they step into the real world and all of a sudden they are it’s good. And the others saw this professional model working for the older guys, so they learned to be professional too. Not to mention, here we have so much parental involvement. No one ever burns out on the pageant scene or the sponsorship scene because everything is family-friendly and they come from an environment where kids push each other around without being enemies.


Lahaina Harbor Breakwall Cam | Surf Forecast for Peahi (Jaws) | Surf Forecast for Honolua Bay | Upper West Side Maui Regional Forecasts | North Maui Regional Forecasts | Forecast charts | High resolution wind model


October 8: Bali by Scotty Hammonds

October 15: Ireland by Clem McInerney

October 22: Santa Barbara by Ryan Perry

October 29: Jeffreys Bay by Alan Van Gysen

November 5: Tahiti by Tim McKenna

November 12: Portugal by Luís “Ben” de Sá

November 19: Gold Coast from Lachlan McKinnon

November 26: Maui by Dan Norkunas


Interview with the director: Dan Norkunas

IG link: @takeshelterprod

Age: 43

How did you get started in surf photography / video?

I moved to Maui in 2010 and got hired to windsurf, and through that I met Matt Meola and Albee Layer and stayed on their heels.

How long have you been touring?

22 years old.

Career path?

My first job was to make ski movies. I moved to Maui, filmed windsurfing, then filmed for Who is JOB? Then I worked full time for Albee Layer (best job ever) before moving back to Oregon to focus on family. Now I’m working on a mix of production, branded content, and action sports.

Where is your favorite place to film in your hometown area and why?

Peahi, or Jaws, is and always will be my favorite movie. I am always impressed with what surfers do. There are few things in life that compare to, say, a great ski line in Alaska. There is something so special about having a perfect swell and conditions there. I love the energy of the previous days and then watching a select group of surfers ride such an incredible wave from the safety of a boat or the cliff. It’s the most exciting (and least stressful) thing for me.

What are some of your favorite premises to photograph and why?

Albee Layer, Matt Meola, Kai Barger, Tanner Hendrickson, Imai Devault, Cody Young, Hank Gaskell, Ian Walsh, Tyler Larronde, Kai Lenny, Paige Alms or any other Maui surfer. There is so much talent on Maui and such a variety of waves, it’s so much fun to document it all.

Under what conditions do you prefer to shoot?

Either big, clean days or waves of windy air.

Dawn patrol or evening drink?

When the wind picks up, 11 a.m.

What are some of your biggest inspirations behind the lens?

Legends, of course: Erik Knutson, Taylor Steele, Erik Ippel, Elliot Leboe, Erik Aeder. I am also inspired by hungry young children who have become filmmakers. It’s really motivating to see young Maui guys like Slater Neborsky, Marc Hammers and Myles Laurion turn a hobby into a career with so much effort and creativity.

What was your first camera?

Canon GL1.

The equipment of choice for shooting today?

Red Epic Weapon but my new favorite is a 16mm Arriflex.

How would you describe the local team of surfers in your area?

What I love most about surfers, and the people I work with on Maui in general, is that they are great people. Everyone has their heads on their shoulders and it’s fun to watch them grow up over the years.

When there is pumping, what kind of waves can people expect from you?

Closures unless it’s a swell of Jaws.

Any advice for future directors / photographers?

Don’t worry about what equipment you want and work with what you have. Some of my favorite budding filmmakers shoot with GH5 cameras and below, and their talent is showcased without the need for a $ 30,000 rig. Additionally, surround yourself with positive, motivated and talented people who are fun to work with and who have a strong work ethic. If filmmakers and athletes work well together, anything is possible.


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