Philip Hoffman: big wave pioneer | Photo: Jeff Divine/The Surfer's Journal

Big wave riding pioneer Philip Hoffman has passed away aged 80. "Flippy" was one of the first riders in Hawaii, during the 1950s.

Born in Glendale, California, he opened doors for the world surf trips made to the North Sore, Oahu.

When Hoffman kicked off his surfing career, there were only a few hundred surfers in California and Hawaii. The man who had no fear of giant waves was responsible for promoting the Hawaiian surf culture.

His brother and family are still linked to surfing through the Hoffman California Fabrics, a textile company working for the surf industries that have clothing businesses.

Philip worked as an abalone diver and he was one of the first surfers to live in the North Shore for the pure pleasure of surfing. In 2006, the Hoffman brothers were inducted into the "Surfing Walk of Fame" in Huntington Beach, California.

Until January, Philip never stopped surfing.

Orca: the spot is yours | Photo: Michael Cunningham

It seems we're not alone in the lineup. New Zealand photographer Michael Cunningham has captured the extraordinary still of an orca enjoying a surfing session in Sandy Bay.

While it is common to watch her closest relatives hitting the waves, we had never saw an orca riding waves like this one. Cunningham was actually bodysurfing when the mammal dropped in on him.

The photographer of the Northern Advocate got out of the water and grabbed his camera to try to register the special moment. In less than one minute, the animal finished his surf training and swam off.

Orcas are mammals also known as killer whales and can be seen in all world oceans. They are highly social and still feature in the U.S. Endangered Species list.

Sunny Garcia: he clashed one legend

Sunny Garcia has conquered the Clash of the Legends, an event held during the 2010 Reef Hawaiian Pro. The homeboy defeated fellow surfers Mark Occhilupo (Australia), Tom Curren (Santa Barbara, CA. USA) and Tom Carroll (Australia).

"It was inconsistent and I knew I got lucky because I got three set waves and those guys didn't get any," said Garcia, of his 30-minute final. "After I got the first one I figured I didn't have anything to lose and I paddled them deep.

Garcia, 40, has already won six Triple Crown of Surfing events. He stormed it in 2004, 2000, 1999, 1994, 1993 and 1992. During this special contest, there was a real clash between surfers. An interference incident almost ended the party atmosphere.

"I thought it was going to be a mellow thing, and that first heat woke me up to the fact that those guys were hungry and they still want to win so it was anything goes. But it was an honor to surf against those guys."

Reef Clash of the Legends - Final results:

1. Sunny Garcia (HAW) 40.05
2. Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 36.46
3. Tom Curren (USA) 35.49
4. Tom Carroll (AUS) 28.11