With the crowds like they are on the North Shore of Oahu, a lot of times when you get a good wave it is at the very last second. Some one misses a gimme, falls up the line, or the guy in position passes—and with no time to think or prepare, you spin and go. Often, that late drop is the ticket to paradise. Other times, the lack of time to sus out the wave puts you in a bad place at a bad time.
I am always trying crappy, lo-fi cameras. They have a way of screwing up in visually interesting ways. With film, I would always push reciprocity failure. With digital, really cheap lenses are my favorite. With light leaks, color shifts and grain, you can create some neat stuff.
Just as the sun cracked the horizon, a small wedge peak popped up. Add a really awful camera and you have a cool photo.
This shot, for example, I love. This is not something you would see with the natural eye. and nothing you could replicate with an Instagram filter or photoshop manipulation. This is just straight up lo-fi and it is stunning.
He comes from my old stomping grounds of Ocean City, MD and he loves to skate — a few things that sound good in my book. Plus he’s a goofy. We hooked up a long time ago and got some shots. Because of my schedule, we only had two quick shoots. Neither the weather nor the waves cooperated, even though we were on the North Shore of Oahu in December. But thanks mostly to Vince’s skills, we got some sick stuff. Enjoy.
Good old Kamua. He loves a surf. A life-long frother. He has skills too. But as Skeets says, “Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you.” In this case, Kamua Swain is getting gotten by the bear, or more specifically, a solid eight foot wall of sand. Check out the horrible lumps, bumps and ripples. As Freeman says, “We got a word for that. Lousy.”
Good Gob. The place is going bananas and there are two guys out. A couple hundred yards west 75 guys are grappling at the main peak for waves half the size. And 300 people watching from the warungs. What is wrong with all of you? photo by Gibber
A Secret Spot in Uluwatu?
Well, by name only.
In the photo above, Secrets is going fucking Bonkers with two guys out. Note the guy in the lower right paddling back out after a long one.Sometimes despite the colon-clenching crowds in Bali, Huey can sort out the bullshit and bring back the magic.
* I will be posting some images from the trip to Indonesia. The whole story—I hope—will be going into a new printed version of Simplex. But who knows when. Meanwhile check back if you want to to see more picks from the trip.
Most people start surfing because they are near the ocean and it is fun to play in the ocean. As we grow older and experience shows us all of the cool things we can do and learn from the ocean, the availability of having fun in the ocean grows. You can bodysurf the shore break. You can longboard small perfect waves. You can tow into big bombs. You can drop in on your friends. You can heckle beginners. You can ride switch stance into closeouts. You can take all your gear and travel to strange places to surf really fun waves with new friends.
At some point you encounter people who’s main goal is to be the best. At great cost to your fun. They take themselves and their surfing very seriously. A lot of the girls you will run into in the surf have that attitude. A lot of Brazilians too. And those people make me want to drop in on them everytime and pull my trunks down and moon them, everytime. Until they lighten up.
Next time there is really good surf, and the crowds are heavy and the vibe is full-on serious, go rent a beater and drop in on everyone and pull into tubes and laugh like you are mental. See who gets pissed off and who laughs with you. Good money says the person who laughs with you would be a better friend.
With my next big adventure only 1 week away, my mind is already in short-timers mode. I want to surf but work is too busy. Work is so busy all I want to do is relax. When I first saw this image it really clicked with me and what I want out of life right now. Simple things can become so desirable, such as being in the ocean, see nature’s beauty and being surrounded by nature’s energy. God it sounds so nice right now. But for now I focus on work and having a job when I return. I will look at this and dream for now.
A really beautiful left peels off with only a few birds for foreground dynamics. Thanks for the inspiration Sam. Photo by Sam Florich.
Ocean City based photog Will Hall was at Cloudbreak when it was going bonkers last year this time. Taj Burrow showed up on a yacht. Kelly Slater flew in on a helicopter. Pretty huge disparity between even privileged surf travelers and the top pros. But then again—big, thick Cloudbreak proves that some people are better than others at handling critical waves.
These photos got squashed by Quiksilver since Kelly was wearing some new boardshorts. Quiksilver never used them. Although some of these have appeared without Will’s knowledge in various media outlets during the year. A year later we present these truly incredible photos. See if you recognize some of images from Quiksilver’s current trunks campaign. Will is back in Fiji right now. I am sure we will see some more great photos soon.