Through the Lens of Zak Noyle

How a Pro Surf Photographer Captures the Ultimate Image

Sports and Outdoors By Photo by Zak Noyle & Chase Pellerin
From Issue Four of Gear Patrol Magazine.
Discounted domestic shipping + 15% off in the GP store for new subscribers.

“I started with a disposable camera. Like, a small one from the gas station, in the little plastic case,” says surf photographer Zak Noyle. Noyle’s gear has come a long way. In the past few years, he has co-designed his own camera bag, and he has three custom colorways for his favorite pair of surf fins. Today, he’s regarded as the North Shore’s most zeitgeisty surf photographer, and he’s worked with brands like Red Bull, Quiksilver, Apple, Chanel and Patagonia.

Noyle was born and raised on Oahu and grew up around photography: His father was a commercial photographer, working mostly with hotels and resorts. The younger Noyle caters to a different demographic; he’s amassed 411,000 followers on Instagram, with each photo capturing the hearts of, on average, over 6,000 users. A following like that doesn’t happen overnight. Noyle is incredibly dedicated to his craft. During the Eddie Aikau Invitational, the most prestigious big-wave competition in the world, he spent eight hours in the ocean, with no food or drink, treading water amid huge waves and sending photos to shore via wi-fi so they could be posted live. He was the only photographer in the water. But getting right into the heart of the action is hard on Noyle’s gear. When 60-foot waves are crashing down on him, a gas station disposable camera no longer cuts it. Noyle’s go-to gear list is short, but each item stands up to the elements.

Noyle’s Kit

The gear you need to get the shot.
zak-noyle-gear-patrol-slide-1
zak-noyle-gear-patrol-slide-2
Surf Hat Neoprene by Gath $116
Camera Bag by RVCA x Zak Noyle $100
EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM by Canon $1,549
EOS-1D X Mark ii by Canon $5,999
Custom Water Housing by SPL Learn More: Here
Zak Noyle Signature Series Fins by DaFiN $68
Read More in Gear Patrol Magazine

A version of this story appears in Gear Patrol Magazine: Issue Four, 320 pages of stories, reports, interviews and original photography across America. Now available. Subscribe Now: $39