Mid morning, same day. Met up with @_clay_marzo for a session at Zuma. It was basically straight closeouts, but Clay is a freak of nature and he ruled it.
The next three posts are from one day in Los Angeles during one of the better summer swells I’ve seen since moving to California. Should’ve probably chased this one to South or Central America, but I was too concerned about missing a couple ragers with @keeponlooking. Made up for it by shooting three sessions with some pretty incredible surfers. The first being early morning with @anthonypetruso.
Last one from the week and the most meaningful for me. Reflecting on things last night, it’s been over a decade of friendship with some of these wonderful people. Being in the water to witness the two biggest wins of @sageerickson’s career is something special. Go Sesh!
One of my favorite surfers for a while now. So much style and has one of the highest stick ratios with a huge variety of airs. Well done @yagodora! Congrats buddy!
I’ve seriously gone board upside down every session this summer and somehow happened to be directly in front of @griffin_cola bringing it to the next level, with added tail blow to body surf! Best 1.03 ride ever at the #VANSUSOPEN
Ever notice how distracting water photographer’s heads are in surf movies? I didn’t, until a couple of the great filmmakers like @_ryan_thomas and Joe G brought it to my attention. Had to wait to swim out this day because RT had a vision. When you watch Psychic Migrations, it’s easy to understand that logic. He made a masterpiece. Also, huge thanks to @gilcafesurf for being an amazing surf guide. Always had us at the right spots.
The most giving person. @gavinbeschen808 leaves every trip empty handed. So cool to learn things like this from a person you’ve looked up to forever. It’s contagious.
Early morning on the East Cape, shot from the house we rented. That sunrise lighting is ridiculous.
The world’s best surfer changing a flat. Will we ever see this again, the way kids are pampered from an early age? Maybe not, considering most can’t strap a board bag to a roof 😆.
First time to Cabo came with a torn MCL. I’m typically numb to watching perfect waves and not being able surf, but a hackable right point will always make my mind spin.
I know, it’s a dreaded “DG,” but won’t be long before @mattmeola is doing proper McTwists on a surfboard. Shot on Canon 1DXM2 and my trusty iPhone hotshoe mount. Swipe for the clip.
Wave pools are already re-setting the bar for performance surfing. What the guys we’re doing out there was just crazy. Hope you enjoy the photos. I ran around like a manic for five hours, having the best time shooting.
So many photos from @stab_high. Had to put them somewhere. Here’s one of two batches from the best event I’ve been to in a long time. There’s another post on @vanssurf. Thank you for having me! I just want a couple more attempts at that air section!
Not a huge selfie guy. That could always change.
From the first time meeting @dusty_payne way back in the day, I feel like we just clicked as friends. In the 2016 Rio Pro he needed someone to caddy, so of course I had his back. As he plowed through heats, the role kinda shifted towards coach. Much respect to the legit coaches out there, I am not that, but part of coaching is connecting with a person, and helping them mentally unlock their top level. Another part is making sure they wake up for their heat, which almost didn’t happen on finals day 😂. Dusty ended up tying his best result on tour. In actuality I had little to do with that, but it was a damn fun ride. On another note, I spent this weekend refreshing lifesaving skills at @b.w.r.a.g and want to throw those guys a huge thank you. Their incredible program is part of why Dusty is still with us today.
Brought a disposable camera on most trips in 2016 and what a way to capture good memories. Brazil was non-stop fun. It helped staying with @badboyryry_ and @tallteef because they are the most dialed in travelers ever, but it seemed like everyone was having an epic time. This is what I hope the tour never loses. It really is the best job in the world and only lasts for so long. Results are obviously important, but so is enjoying the journey and spending time with quality humans along the way.
Went to Brazil once. It was kind of like when people told me Step Brothers “wasn’t that great.” When I finally checked it out… way better than expected! To make things even more awesome, the @wsl was beefing with SURFING Mag so I got to spend time shooting freesurfing (waves were firing 200 yards from the event site), and meeting some of the coolest, most welcoming people ever. Fuck what ya heard. Brazil is amazing. Would love to go back.
Didn’t hit me until way later how special this session really was. @mfanno on another level. The way he controls speed in frontside barrels is mesmerizing. One of multiple waves he clocked 15+ seconds in the tube.
My mentality on trips is to shoot everything. Never know when you might get a cool photo of a goat running down a sand dune.
Wouldn’t mind waiting for a set in these conditions.
Young aspiring surf photographers, I strongly recommend entering the 2019 @followthelightfoundation. There’s no better outlet to make a name for yourself. Psyched to see @vanssurf come on as a sponsor that will be sending the winner to the North Shore for #VTCS. Deadline to enter a portfolio of your best 25-30 images is May 31st, so get on it! This is @acebuchan, shot during the Pipe Masters.
One of the most yolo trips I’ve ever done. We chartered a boat and sailed off in search of waves. Hit five islands. Kinda scored a couple, got skunked on a couple, and just missed scoring the other. This is @dylangraves taking in some conditions rarely seen in the Caribbean.
Been running with the two photo posts lately because I dislike the way Instagram displays full frame images. I feel like you still gotta see the full frame though. Anyway, here’s one of @oliverkurtz from my favorite beach in the world.
Most water photographers are smart enough to position themselves under the lip, or cut their losses and dive under. I knew right away I was too far inside on this one of @filipetoledo, but after striking out all morning, there was no chance I was taking another L. Lip to the dome, let’s do this! Not a big wave, but still nearly ripped my arm out of socket, and blasted the leash off my wrist, sending me on a frantic swim after my @cmthousings.
This is @dylangraves’ last wave of the session. The swell was peaking and it moved off the reef a bit. No barrels like we’d hoped for, but still exciting to watch and hard to beat that lighting/water color combo.
This is the paddle out from my previous post. Minutes before they jumped off, we saw a giant clean up set wash through the lineup. It looked like a less organized version of Sunset Beach, but there was no scale to tell how big it was. Props to these guys for going out anyways.
I would never lay claim to discovering a spot because there’s millions of surfers out there. Who really knows what has and hasn’t been surfed? But it’s always fun to find something new to you. During Hurricane Matthew, we drove off-road around half an island to a place we thought might have potential, based entirely off Google Maps. It was surprisingly firing but had no entry into or out of the lineup. After a while deliberating, we found one little nook where @dylangraves and Dillon Perillo could scale the cliff if we tied some leashes together and helped pull them up. The decision was finally made to give it a try.
May Gray mornings. A San Diego staple.
Took a helicopter up during Hurricane Marie. Could’ve just as easily launched a drone, but on a swell that special, it felt worth it to pay the money and shoot the entire coast from Malibu to The Wedge, in two hours.
The beach Larry “Flame” Moore used to hit every morning before heading into the office as SURFING Magazine’s Photo Editor. If someone told me one day I would hold that same job title, I would’ve never believed them. Although I didn’t know Flame well, I was lucky enough to slide a few of my earliest film submissions past his light table. Each time receiving an encouraging letter with constructive feedback. I understand now how demanding that is. Regardless, it’s something I tried my hardest to replicate through 11 combined years at @easternsurfmag and SURFING. With surf mags becoming an endangered species, there aren’t the same amount of opportunities to become a “surf photographer,” but there are more opportunities than ever to document the world through photos. It makes me super happy to see @followthelightfoundation return and give young photographers a platform that can launch their careers to a new level. I strongly recommend anyone 25 and under to check this out and submit your portfolio. The list of winners and finalists is second to none. Deadline is May 31st.
Even the clouds were good this day.
Raw emotion from @john_john_florence after a psycho wave.
I have this print hanging in my room and kinda forget about it, then every once in a while I’ll stare, thinking about how waves don’t get much better. I’ll post the end result of this wave later.
Really hyped to see @imaikalani_devault join the @vanssurf family head-to-toe. One of the most stylish and well-rounded surfers coming up. He was voted Most Underrated in our final Peer Poll at SURFING Mag. At some point people gotta realize how good Imai is.
Back when surf magazines put effort into profile features. @owright shot before his first Rip Curl Pro Bells, 10 years ago. He took down Kelly as a wildcard in pumping surf. Everyone knew his career was about to “takeoff.” Or maybe it was “Wright Brothers?” Either way, that outfit became a great Halloween costume in the following years, while Owen became one of the best surfers in the world.
I love watching Bells. Won’t be the same without this guy, but amping to see who rings it in the next couple weeks. @mfanno
When @rob_machado is out, it’s probably a good time to shoot speed blurs.