Grant Ellis has been photographing waves for SURFER for two decades. In that time, he’s been on countless strikes around the world, chasing swell to pretty much every country that has an ocean (and even some that don’t). An eternal grom, the fire to find and photograph new and perfect surf burns deep inside Ellis. A few years back, when Mick Fanning scored “The Snake” — a miles long barreling sand point that would land him a SURFER cover — Ellis inspected each image afterwards with surgical precision, searching for clues to the wave’s whereabouts. While he never shared where his research led him with anyone that would announce its location, you better believe Ellis figured it out.
Below, you’ll find 11 beautiful images of empty perfection from Ellis’s travels over the years, both here in California and also abroad. Some of these waves are popular, others aren’t. If you’re reading this right now there’s a good chance you’ve been asked to stay away from the beach during Covid-19 quarantine. These are for you. A reminder that while things are tough right now, perfect surf will still be there on the other side. We’ll meet you out there.
All photos by Grant Ellis