HAVE you ever heard tell of the one where two pro surfers and one of the world's top photogs borrow a helicopter and a jet ski before heading out to one of the longest right barrels in the world? Well, if you haven't, here it is: Bobby Martinez, Mick Fanning tearing up Kirra on a ski with Joli hanging from a helicopter capturing some truly unique angles. It might sound like the activities of surf hoodlums were it not for the photographic outcome. When Bobby arrived in the competitors area at Bells he was still adjusting to the fact he wasn't in Queensland any more: "Oh man, actually, ever since that last event finished, it's been warm water, endless swells, and these long green tubes... Me and Mick hit Kirra on the ski."
One particular day was more mechanical than the rest. A puff of offshore and an entire afternoon of solar rays was all it took for photog Joli to jump a chopper at Tugun airport with a homing device on Mick, Bobby, Kieren and Noodles; while the corrugated Pacific discharged on the Kirra sandbar at 14 second intervals.
Putting aside all of their downsides when in the hands of kooks and dangerous broke-dicks, the advantages of surfing off a ski are plentiful: your visibility is improved and you're not just waiting for the wave to come to you. You're actually chasing down a kill, like a Serengeti lion hunting a meaty wildebeest. And when it's 6ft uncrowded Kirra shaping up as the kill it gets even plumper and sweeter.
"With, said Bobby, so many great waves, every day for like three weeks, there have been windows where sections along the 1/2 mile spit between Froggies and North Kirra have been relatively empty for hours." And it's not just pros who've been waiting and timing these moments, check this canny local pulling into a corkscrew thing out the front of the Kirra Pizza Hut. In for the ride of his life, or at least until he paddles back and gets his next one.
All in the angles
In this pic of Mick turning the fire hose on Nathan Webster, it looks for all the money like a flabby Bells shoulder, but don't be fooled by the aerial angle. By the time Mick returns to the pocket this thing will drain dry and turn into a hydro powered sand hoover that could tear the doors off a car.
The lack of a point of parallax gives photos taken from directly above a peculiar depth perception... which makes for a wild view of Mick momentarily hanging in no man's land while mid alley-oop.