TODAY   |  May 20, 2013

Hang 10! Natalie gets a lesson in surfing

TODAY’s Natalie Morales heads to North Shore of Oahu, the center of the surfing universe, to get a lesson in catching waves from surfing veteran Freddy Patacchia, Jr. and 20-year-old champ Carissa Moore.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> acquainted with over the weekend.

>> about an hour's drive north from here actually is the seven-mile miracle, the north shore , the famed shores for all of those hawaiian surfers, all the surfers who come from all over the world. i got a chance to try out my own epic adventure. from the big waves at waimai bay to the tube pipeline, oahu's shore made by duke kaha moku and the legendary surfers of the '60s and '70s. race here on sunset beach , freddy is a veteran of the world tour .

>> i started when i was 7, my dad loved to surf and it was a father/son thing we could do together.

>> reporter: this is where it happened?

>> this is where it happened. the north shore is one of the the most iconic places in surfing, they call it the proving ground.

>> reporter: freddy says catching a wave can be a spiritual experience.

>> the wave you're going to get today no one else will ride ever again, there's no other wave like it so it's kind of like it's you and something that will no longer exist ever again.

>> reporter: every good rider knows surfing start with the right fit and eric arakawa is one of the famous surfboard makers in the biz.

>> it gets put in the machine and preshaped and it goes into our shaving room and all of the detail finish work is done by hand.

>> reporter: i left ready to catch some waves. carissa are you ready for me?

>> i'm excited. we're going to have fun. i'm excited and scared to death. my professional instructor, 20-year-old carissa moore, world surfing champ.

>> let's lie down on our stomachs.

>> reporter: feet at the edge paddling.

>> perfect.

>> reporter: can we stay here?

>> no, we got to get you up. paddle, paddle, and get up. come on. nice, nice. that's it.

>> reporter: you think i'm ready? are you kidding me? that's it.

>> knuckles.

>> reporter: okay, knuckles. time to give it a go at the beautiful turtle bay , perfect for this first timer.

>> you want this part of the leash to be pointing out.

>> reporter: we're going to be good buddies, you and me, surfboard.

>> i'm so proud of you.

>> i swallowed a lot of water but it was fun.

>> that's half the fun. if you comment to hawaii you want to bring your camera. this place provides an absolutely breath-taking backdrop but you have to be adventurous if you want to get shots like those. clark little, c.j. and nick sellway. we have waves over here, lava flows into the water over here. how dangerous is it to capture shots like this?

>> we pride ourselves on our stupidity so it's pretty dangerous.

>> you're right up close and you go where no one else really goes, right? ?

>> we take calculated risks. i've been shooting it for over 16 years.

>> i've been doing it for nine years.

>> what do you have to do to get a shot like this?

>> we wake up with you guys. we're up at 1:00 a.m ., we're driving down the road, three hours to the volcano hike up on hour.

>> hour average and put us in the position most people don't want to do.

>> c.j. you fell into a lava tube once?

>> i did. i know the lava fields , pretty dangerous but you know, i dropped in 20 feet into a lava tube , shattered my ankle. it can happen to anybody, somebody who has been doing it for years. it is dangerous.

>> the shots are beautiful. thank you for risking everything so we can see beautiful shots. clark you're shooting waves from inside the waves. how do you do that?

>> i have a water housing here and what i do is just use swim fins and as the wave is sucking up and barrelling over i'm holding the trigger trying to get as many shots as i can, facing in the tube.

>> and it crashes over you.

>> sometimes i get sucked over the pause and get smashed but it's worth it to get the epic shot.

>> do you know you've gotten the shot or do you have to wait to get back?

>> you get a feeling of it, kind of know that was magic, you go on the computer and zoom in 100% and you know for sure it's a shot. it's a lot of work but it's fun.

>> clark , nick and c.j., thank you for showing us your beautiful photographs.

>> thank you.

>>> still to come we're doing an authentic traditional luau right here. but first this is "today" on nbc, we'll get a check of your local