Slabs are formed by shallow reefs that either stick out of the sea or hold deeper water behind them. They create some of surfing's most hazardous conditions as riders are pushed dangerously close to the shallow formations below. These breaks have created some of the most captivating moments in surf history. At Teahupoo, Tahiti, for instance the water actually moves below sea level as it flows onto the eroded reef and is so thick that the wave is known as the heaviest in the world.
Cyclops, in South Australia, is one of the scariest looking slabs and was named after the mythical creature in Homer's The Odyssey.
Waimea shorebreak is one of the best known slabs.
Big Rock break.
A slab in California.
In one of history's most documented rides, Laird rides his millenial wave on August 17, 2000 at Teahupoo. Many still describe it was the most terrifying and deadly wave ever ridden.
An extremely shallow slab in the Pacific Northwest.
The 2012 wave of the year at Teahupoo.
Shipstern's Bluff break.