Brothers Greg and Rusty Long are two of the most decorated and respected big wave surfers in the world.
WHILE ACCOLADES LIKE Greg’s win at the 2010 Quicksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau at Waimea Bay have made the pair famous among surfers, it’s their passion for hunting out new waves that drives them to travel around the world.
One of Greg and Rusty’s recent trips took them to the Azores, a small volcanic archipelago in the North Atlantic. My brother Kitt and I were lucky enough to come along for the ride.
Kitt and Greg watch as a set of waves stacks up and marches towards an unnamed reef on an outer island.
As the rain cleared, a beautiful rainbow framed the bay on the main island and revealed a well-formed left-breaking off-the-inner point.
Rusty watches an empty wave go by. Best as we could tell, this shallow, urchin-infested reef had never been surfed, but it seemed to suit Rusty just fine.
Rusty drives off the bottom on his first wave. It was a bit bigger than it looked from shore and the unexpected power had Mr. Long smiling.
Rusty embarks on a tube ride. He was right at home in the dangerous conditions.
Greg Long draws out a bottom turn on the first ride of a wave we dubbed âAtlantis Bayâ. We had checked this spot often and knew it had potential, but were totally unprepared for what we saw upon returning from a town run.The wind had switched and the swell had jumped, leading to yelling and scrambling for wetsuits and boards.
Rusty pulls into a small tube early in the morning.
Centuries of stacking rocks has created a patchwork of pastures across the island.
Rusty stands against the wall, watching another point break unwind and calculating if its worth the mile-long paddle.
Greg and Rusty scramble to get into position for the Atlantic swell lines on the outermost island's far western shore.
It never ceased to amaze me how many observations each of the boys could make from watching a particular stretch of ocean for 15 minutes. They'd know for certain if a spot had potential and register how we got there and under what conditions it would be worth coming back.
Greg Long locks into a good one at Atlantis Bay.
Not to be outdone by his younger brother, Rusty gets a barrel of his own.
When the swell dropped off at Atlantis Bay clean open faces replaced the barrels, allowing the boys to brush up on their turns.
Rusty sets up another run across the cobbles and urchins at Atlantis Bay.
Near the end of the road we found a recently-paved section that made for a great skate run. Rusty carves into the sunset as a local cow checks his style.
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