These women are cataloging Hawaii’s monster winter surf, one photo at a time

Published: Feb. 2, 2021 at 5:30 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Capturing captivating surfing photographs during monster swells takes courage and a good eye.

Jackie Fiero and Christa Funk both have it.

“It’s similar to surfing in that sense where you’re in the spot for a wave or you’re not in the spot for a wave, or you wipe out or you don’t,” Funk said.

Funk and Fiero are among a handful of female professional surf photographers from Hawaii Red Bull hired to document Hawaii’s big winter surf.

“I think it’s great seeing more women in the water getting amazing photos. I think a lot of people have a lot of respect for all these women, as they should,” Fiero said.

She was assigned to work at Jaws on Maui, one of the world’s most intimidating big wave spots. Funk photographed the action at Waimea Bay.

The other female photographers took pictures at the North Shore’s outer reefs.

Working in big surf taxes the body and mind. Before going out they research ocean conditions and train their bodies for the hours they’ll spend treading water on riding on a water craft.

“It’s just that extra confidence that helps to go, ‘Okay, I’ve done everything I can, the rest is Mother Nature,’” Funk said.

Red Bull is doing the picture project to promote female surf photographers.

“A lot of people told me that it was hard to do and I could never do it. That’s kind of what made me want to do it more,” Fiero said.

Both ladies don’t want to be known just for their surfing photography, their other work is equally as stunning.

“I knew that if I wanted to do this for a long term I couldn’t just do only surf photography,” Funk said.

Red Bull wants to assemble the largest collection of surf photographs taken by women. The pictures will be displayed in an online gallery.

“It’s such an amazing opportunity that Red Bull put together this gallery for women. It’s just a big moment for all of us,” Fiero said.

The women hope their work in an industry dominated by men inspires the next generation of girls to pick up their cameras and take the plunge.

You can see Fiero and Funk’s photographs at and @jackie_fiero on Instagram.

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