I went up to watch the giant waves that came in this week. This pic was from the day before the Quikselver Eddie Aikau , which was bigger than the day of the contest. It was an awesome day of giant waves. I took this pic with a 500mm zoom lens, because that's about as close as I would ever get to a wave this big.
Look at the guy there. He is about 5'10", which makes the face of the wave about 35 feet. If that thing hit you, it would feel like you got punched in the face by an elephant. There is more water in that wave than in 10 Olympic size swimming pools.
And this is a beautiful thing in Hawaii, because it brings the media, tourists, professional surfers, and big corporate sponsors. And guess what, some of them buy North Shore real estate!