From Issue Four of Gear Patrol Magazine.
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“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.