Interview with Clark Little: “I love getting thrashed”

Clark Little in wave

Photographer Clark Little’s career broke open all of a sudden, just like one of the thick waves that rises up against the North Shore of Oahu and slams into the sand. After a British web site sent out a newsletter with a link to some of his images, his life turned upside down. He appeared on numerous TV shows, exhibited his photography at the Smithsonian museum, opened two galleries, and published a book, “The Shorebreak Art of Clark Little”.

He attributes the secret of his success to more than three decades of playing in the ocean. The 43-year-old grew up on the North Shore and while his older brother Brock gained fame paddling into the world’s monster waves, Clark surfed the shorebreaks. He learned how to read the waves, how to time his ride, and how to fall when he wiped out; which happened quite a bit. He got a rush from getting tumbled, so it was a bit strange when he took a 9-to-5 job as a keeper at the local botanical garden. He got married, started a family and then found himself in a situation where his wife needed him to dive back into one of those big waves to take a picture. He jumped right in and got hooked all over again. A few years later he quit his job and decided to shoot full time. He’s been tumbling in the wake of that decision ever since.

Find more of Little’s wave imagery and the full Outside magazine interview and article with him here.

Marlin by Clark Little