We humans are drawn to the shoreline, to live and to play. Some of us have even found a home in the waves, riding on gentle swells or braving roaring mountains of seawater. Surfing has been a part of human lives for centuries and is enjoyed around the world today. The stormy summer we've had this year provided some spectacular (if dangerous) conditions for surfers, many of them captured in photos below. Gathered here are images from the past several months of people (and animals) in the surf, including professional surfers, amateurs, spectators, and more. [38 photos]
Lifegaurds help pull a woman out of the ocean as high waves measuring up to 20 feet pounded the beach at the Wedge on September 1, 2011 in Newport Beach, California. A winter storm off the coast of Australia and New Zealand brought unusually high surf to the Southern California beaches.
(Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) #
Taylor Jensen of USA surfs a wave during an international surfing event at Sri Lanka's eastern coastal resort of Arugam bay on September 4, 2011. With surfers from the UK, USA, Hawaii, Netherlands, South Africa, France, Japan and Brazil the competition aims to promote the country's east, which was once plagued by the Tamil rebellion, as a major tourist attraction.
(Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP/Getty Images) #
A competitor rides a wave at the third annual Surf Liberia Contest at Robertsport on the coast of the West African nation September 4, 2011. Scarred by two civil wars between 1989 and 2003, Liberia is still recovering from years of brutal conflict, but a fledgling tourism industry has emerged, along with a nascent surfing scene. Among surfers, the country is celebrated for its faultless point breaks and some world-class tubes.
(Reuters/Simon Akam) #
Policemen and residents run as waves from a tidal bore surge past a barrier on the banks of Qiantang River in Haining, China, on August 31, 2011. As Typhoon Nanmadol approaches eastern China, the tides and waves in Qiantang River recorded its highest level in 10 years, local media reported.
(Reuters/China Daily) #
Surfing guru Laird Hamilton is pulled on his standup paddleboard in Newport, Rhode Island, on June 28, 2011. Hamilton is working with the PUMA Ocean Racing team's entry in this year's around-the-world race on everything from design to nutrition. In exchange, they'll be searching for the world's biggest waves so he can fly out on a moment's notice.
(AP Photo/Elise Amendola) #