The Red Bull Illume is an international photography contest showcasing the best of adventure and action sports.

Over the past decade, the Red Bull Illume has called for entries in the fields of surfing, snowboarding, BMX, mountain climbing, and other extreme pursuits. The 2023 Image Quest was the 7th installment, receiving thousands of submissions across 10 categories. We’ve curated some of our favourite surf photos and photographer quotes from the top 250 finalist images.

Kalana, Hiiumaa, Estonia. Photo by Roman Neimann

“…perfect conditions for surfing. This photo is taken on one of those days to the beach, through the beautiful forest trail. Those moments are really special, the feeling before you see how good it really is. The best moments to remember for life!”

Roman Neimann
Eimeo Czermak at Teahupo’o, Tahiti. Photo by Morgan Maassen
Rodrigo Reinoso at Teahupo’o, Tahiti. Photo by Ted Grambeau
Kelly Slater at Rocky Point, Oahu, Hawaii. Photo by Todd Glaser

“I love making images with Kelly [Slater]. When he took off, I held my breath, went underwater and tracked where I thought the peak of his turn would be, Kelly being Kelly positioned himself perfectly and I watched as he used every bit of rail right in front of my lens! Whenever we shoot together I always need to up the shutter speed an extra 1/3 to 2/3 of a stop to freeze the action compared to most other surfers!”

Todd Glaser
Kamchatka, Far East Russia. Photo by Guy Williment

“To avoid the cold [-20°C/-4°F air] and getting in the [1°C/33°F] water sooner than we had too, the boys used the frozen icebergs in the river as giant stepping stones to get across to the other side of the beach. I chucked up the drone to get this unique perspective while they were crossing. 7mm wetsuits and gloves. This remains one of my favourite images, not just because of the photo but because of the journey to find incredible waves and the lifetime friendships we forged through surfing.”

Guy Williment
Letty Mortensen and Fraser Dovell in Kamchatka, Far East Russia. Photo by Guy Williment
Kauli Vaasr at Teahupo’o, Tahiti. Photo by Ben Thouard
Anchor Point, Taghazout, Morocco. Photo by Ross Taylor
Jordy Smith in Indonesia. Photo by Nick Christy
Fletcher Brown at Cape Solander, Sydney, Australia. Photo by Luca Salisbury
Erin Brooks at Thunders Reef, Mentawai Islands, Indonesia. Photo by Marcelo Maragni

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