Hang Loose

Shorebreak: The Series Is Like a Local's Guide to Oahu's North Shore

Photographer Clark Little gives a local's perspective of Oahu in this new series.

By Gwendolyn Knapp January 1, 2018

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Clark Little is known for capturing Oahu's intense shorebreak.

For those of us who grew up steeped in issues of Surfer Magazine, the likelihood that the name Clark Little rings a bell is a given. Little's older brother, Brock Little, was a renowned big wave surfer who graced the pages of many surf publications in his lifetime, before passing away from liver cancer in 2016. Over the last decade, Clark Little, a surfer as well, has also made a name for himself as a photographer who specializes in a very risky business—jumping headfirst into Oahu's intense shorebreak to capture incredible photos of turtles, boogie boarders, sunsets and the movement of the ocean itself. Follow him on Instagram and you won't be sorry. Follow his father, Jim Little, a famed grower of plumeria (lei flowers) and you'll get the full scope of aloha. 

If you're already a Clark Little fan, a new family-friendly show on Outside TV called Shorebreak: The Series, based off of the 2016 documentary Shorebreak: the Clark Little Story, will be right up your alley. The series follows the famed photographer on his day to day activities in Hawaii.

While sometimes the episodes come off as a tad saccharine with nothing at stake, Little himself comes across as a genuinely grounded, friendly guy; as eager to greet fans on the beach as he is to film shorebreak or edit photos in the lab. He likes coffee and poi banana bread. He likes to lick his camera lens. He loves his kids. But if conflict, drama and resolution are your means for feeling compelled to watch something, the most you'll get out of this series is that Little keeps calling bodyboarders "boogie boarders" even though they don't like to be called that. This show is all about the aloha, at least the first three episodes are, and doesn't dig very deeply into Little's personal journey, not as much as I thought it would—there are six more episodes to go though. It is, however, one of the best advertisements for visiting Hawaii that I've ever seen, with drone shots and underwater cinematography that delights.

Little guides viewers around the Northshore, from eateries including Cafe Haliewa or the Pupukea Grill food truck to the Waimea Bay jump rock, with explanations of Hawaiian colloquialisms and insider knowledge — for instance, did you know that winter time means gigantic waves at Wiamea Bay, but in summer it's the calmest place to be? Pretty helpful for folks planning a visit to Oahu in the near future.  

Unless you're a die hard surfer or Clark Little super fan, though, this show could get a bit monotonous, with its dad-please-stop-talking level of Little's day to day, including how he takes his coffee, how much he enjoys editing film, what equipment he's using, why he wears water shoes and then some. But if you are a super fan, you will probably also delight in all of these things, along with the fact that the series, like the documentary, is directed by surfer Peter King, who, outside of the pro surf industry, is most widely known as the former co-host of ancient MTV show Sandblast.

Check out a preview of Shorebreak: The Series here or watch the first three episodes on Outside TV Features, a free app with thousands of short and long films and series ($4.99/month to stream its unlimited premium content; and including a free trial week).

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